Olympic medalists share success

Karen Lai

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The Chan Tai-Ho Multi-Purpose Hall was full of applause for the table tennis skills and inspiring words of Olympic stars Mr Li Ching and Mr Ko Lai-chak. Together with their coach, Mr Chan Kong-wah, the medalists shared their success stories, 9 October.

 

Thanks to the Department of Marketing (MKT) and the Physical Education Section of the Student Development Services, the University community had a chance to meet the medalists despite their busy schedule after returning from Athens. “We are proud of our Olympic winners. It is a great opportunity for our sport teams and students to learn about how they could rise and compete in the international arena,” said Professor Edmond Ko, Vice President (Education) and Dean of Students, in his welcoming speech.

 

Winning Hong Kong's first Olympic table tennis medal, the duo delivered the message that their triumph was the result of persistent hard work, close partnership, accepting challenges, plus a positive attitude towards life. These values were embraced by both the coach and players. Mr Li and Mr Ko met Mr Chan when their careers were at a low ebb. Mr Chan’s instructions helped them to enhance their

skills, while their own enthusiasm for the sport and their positive attitude towards life got them through dark times, and eventually to glories at the Olympic Games.

 

“We have had setbacks, for example, in brushing up our skills to match the styles of international players. In addition to training and hard work, our success sprang from our love of the sport and a strong self-confidence,” Mr Li said. Mr Ko concurred and added that he found a second chance in Hong Kong. The pair said that the coach encouraged them to be positive, well-rounded, and he emphasized training on all fronts, including tennis and soccer, to strengthen their skills in various ways.

 

On partnership, Mr Li explained that he treasured his pairing with Mr Ko because the two of them accept their differences and strive to work things out together. Mr Li, who was a marketing major in his university years, wished CityU students excellent academic performance and satisafaction from contributing their talents for the well-being of society. Both planned on further study after retirement from the sport arena and said CityU would be a good

place for academic pursuits.

 

Playing pingpang with the medalists 

After the discussion, more than 150 students and staff were treated to a fascinating single match between the medalists, and mixed doubles competitions with CityU’s table tennis team. The audience gave another round of applause when Professor Edmond Ko, and Dr Zhou Nan, MKT Head, played a mixed double with Li and Ko. Student athlete Mr Chan Kwun-shui said, “As a table tennis player, I find Li and Ko exemplary models. As a student, I learned a lot from their attitude towards life.” Another athlete Ms Ho Ka-yee, who teamed up with Li Ching, said, “I was very excited. Their skills are great! I appreciate their never-give-up attitude.”

 

Mr Vincent Fok, Instructor I and MKT Mentoring Coordinator, said, “The event is part of the Department’s Student Mentoring Scheme. Through inviting distinguished guests to share their experiences, we hope students can develop their own leadership skills, a cooperative team spirit, and, from the success of the Olympic winners, we hope students can be inspired to have a positive attitude through 

adversity.”

 

Marketing students, Yuen Man-yiu, Lee Fung-yu and Leung Yiu-hong said that meeting with the celebrities was thrilling. What they cherished even more were the medalists' words of wisdom. “We are impressed by the Olympic duo's devotion to sports, and their open-minded attitude towards success and failure. We enjoy exposure of this kind as part of our learning experiences on campus,”  Leung Yiu-hong concluded. 

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