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Lee Lai-Shan MBE BBS ( ) (born in Cheung Chaumarker, Hong Kongmarker, September 5, 1970) is a former world champion and Olympic gold medal-winning professional windsurfer from Hong Kongmarker. She is the first and last ever athlete won an Olympic medal representing Hong Kong, not as part of Chinamarker. Since 1997, Hong Kong has been stipulated to append the word "Chinamarker" after its name in all Olympic events.

Career

Lee Lai-Shan, popularly known as "San San", was born in Cheung Chaumarker and started windsurfing aged 12. She began to take part in windsurfing competitions at the age of 17 and joined the Hong Kong team at 19. Over the years, Lee won many international competitions, including the first-ever Olympic gold medal for Hong Kong, in the women's mistral boardsailing class, at the 1996 Olympics and the first champion in the Asian Games representing Hong Kong, China.

Between 1952-1995, Hong Kong had never been able to win any medals at the Olympic Games. Lee Lai-Shan's victory at the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympics changed all this and added a glorious chapter to the region's 44-year Olympic history. Notably, the 1996 Summer Olympics was the last international sporting event that Hong Kong participated in as a British colony, making Lee's medal the first and last medal that the Hong Kong team (not Hong Kong, China) won. It was at that time Lee famously declared to the media:

After the Games she became a student of sports management at Australia's University of Canberramarker in 1996. She was the first Hong Kong athlete to receive an Honorary Doctorate in social sciences from The Chinese University of Hong Kongmarker.

Lee became a recipient of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award” and the Bronze Bauhinia Star Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the international sports scene. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Social Sciences by The Chinese University of Hong Kongmarker. There is a monument resembling a windsurf board and mast erected in her honour near the beachfront at Lamma Islandmarker.

In 2008, she was the first person to carry the Olympic torch in the torch relay leg in Hong Kong. She also was the final torchbearer in 2008 Summer Olympics sailing opening ceremony at Qingdao International Marinamarker.

High-ranking performances

  • 1990 Beijing Asian Games - 2nd
  • 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games - 11th
  • 1993 World Championships - 1st
  • 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games - 2nd
  • 1995 World Championships - 3rd
  • 1996 World Championships - 2nd
  • 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games - 1st
  • 1997 World Championships - 1st
  • 1998 Bangkok Asian Games - 1st
  • 2000 Sydney Olympic Games - 6th Mistral
  • 2001 World Championships - 1st
  • 2001 National Games - 1st Mistral
  • 2002 Pusan Asian Games - 1st
  • 2004 Athens Olympic Games - 4th Mistral


Honours

  • 1994 - Named Best Athlete of Asia
  • 1995-1996 & 1999-2000 - Named one of Hong Kong Sports Stars of the Year for four times
  • 1995 - Selected Best Athlete in Hong Kong for 1994
  • 1998 - Voted one of Hong Kong Top Ten Athletes for 1988-1998 by Hong Kong Sports *ress Association
  • 1999 - Selected one of China's Top Ten Athletes for 1998
  • 1999 - Awarded Special Prize in the "Best Athletes of the Century" selection jointly organized by the Chinese Olympic Committee, Henry Fok Foundation and China Sports Press Association


Personal life

She married long time partner Wong Tak-Sum (黃德森) (known in English as Sam Wong), who has also represented Hong Kong internationally in windsurfing, and gave birth to a daughter, Haylie Wong (黃希皚), in August 2005, and to a second daughter in August 2007. This was one of the reason for her to take a break from competition, though she have not ruled out of competing altogether. In 2008, she was involved in the Summer Olympics again when she was one of the presenting team for ATV, in addition to commentating at its sailing event.

In 2006, she was featured in a Hang Seng Bank advertisement, in which she said the cost of nurturing a baby in Hong Kong will be HK$4 million (US$510,000). It has caused a slight controversy in Hong Kong as most people do not think it will actually cost that much, and most think that Hang Seng Bank exaggerated the figures.

See also



References

  1. SCMP. " SCMP." Athletes, politicians and tycoons head torch list. Retrieved on 2008-04-30.
  2. Info.gov.hk. " Info.gov.hk." SHA's "Letter to Hong Kong". Retrieved on 2008-04-30.
  3. http://olympics.scmp.com/Article.aspx?id=18&section=athletes


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