Asian Heritage Month-CFACI | Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMACCH)

Higher, Faster, Stronger: Asian Canadian Decorated Olympians

It all happens in a moment, that not only takes years of training and endeavor, but also an adamant dedication fighting against all odds, physically, psychologically, as well as braving the challenges in daily lives. There are devoted parents taking their athletic prodigies to training and competitions, waiting patiently, sharing the ups and downs, and always giving words of encouragement.

Asian Canadian athletes can be found in Team Canada in both the Winter and Summer Olympics.

In the Winter Olympics, Snowboarder Alexa Loo competed in Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010. Notable successes include three World Cup medals, four-time National Championship medallist, and 2002 national giant slalom champion. The Olympic experience is a transferable skill. Asian Canadian athletes also contribute to Canada by being active in civic participation. Alexa Loo, raised in Richmond, B. C., was elected city councillor for the City of Richmond in the 2014 civic elections. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant and Certified Executive Coach, working with executives, professionals and entrepreneurs to navigate personal transformation and achieve their “gold medal” business goals. Her motto is to “Aim High, Work Hard and Give Back.”

Asian Canadian athletes are an integral part of Team Canada. Patrick Chan and the Canadian Figure Skating Team won Gold Medal in the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympics. Patrick was Silver Medallist in Men’s Figure Skating in 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. His accolades include, among others, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 Canadian Champion, and 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Champion. Patrick’s parents—Lewis Chan, a lawyer, and Karen—immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong. They at first tried to introduce Patrick to Canada’s famous sport: hockey, and set up skating lessons for him. But their son’s interest soon turned to figure skating and there the legend began.

When thinking about Asian Canadians competing in the Summer Olympics, Carol Huynh will immediately come to mind. Huynh’s family immigrated as refugees from Vietnam, and she was the first child in the family born in Canada. A two-time Olympian, she won gold in the women’s 48 kg division at Beijing 2008, and captured bronze at London 2012. The highly decorated Olympian was also an 11-time national champion (2000–02, 2004–11), a two-time Pan American Games champion (Rio de Janeiro 2007, Guadalajara 2011), the Commonwealth Games 2010 champion, and a four-time world championship medallist (silver in 2001 and bronze in 2000, 2005 and 2010). After the Olympics, Carol played a key role to promote her sport. She was inducted into the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013, selected as a United World Wrestling Super 8 Ambassador for the global campaign focusing on the development of women in wrestling in 2015, and became the President of the United World Wrestling Athletes Commission.

Do you want to be an Olympian? Start training and competing! Avianna Chao, who competed in shooting in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, won a gold medal in air pistol at the 2007 Pan Am Games, and a bronze medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games (25m pistol pairs). There are Olympians playing table tennis. Zhu Judy Long competed in the Beijing 2008 Olympics. She was double medallist at 2007 Pan Am Games, winning silver in the team event, and bronze in singles, a Member of the Canadian team that finished 28th at the 2008 World Championships in Guangzhou, China, and Champion of the 1995 Asia Cup while representing China. Eugene Wang competed in the London 2012 Olympics. His notable accolades include Olympic Games: 2012–9th (team), Commonwealth Games: 2014–5th (singles), 9th (team), 5th (mixed doubles), Pan American Games: 2015–Bronze (singles), Bronze (team).

Learn more about Asian Canadian athletes at this link.

The Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMAACH) was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy.