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Lee Lai SHAN (HKG)

Lee Lai SHAN (HKG)The boardsailor who made history by winning Hong Kong's first medal in any sport at the 1996 Olympics is back again, with an outstanding win at the Mistral Worlds and bullets at many of the graded events over the past 12 months, including several of the coveted Grade 1 events. She is currently ranked 4th on the world rankings.

The Achievements of Lee Lai Shan

August 2001 - Mistral World Championships - Grade W event - 1st
August 2001 - Mistral European Championships - Grade 1 event - 4th
June 2001 - Kieler Woche - Grade 1 event - 1st May 2001 - Spa Regatta - Grade 1 event - 1st
February 2001 - Sail Auckland - Grade 2 event - 1st

Name Lee Lai SHAN
Date of Birth 25816
Where were you born? Hong Kong
Age started sailing 15
Age started racing 19
What inspired you to take up sailing? I watched windsurfers sailing when I was working for my Uncle, who operates a small windsurfing center and a beachside café. The way one could sail freely without limitations inspired me to take up sailing.
How did you buy your first boat? With the savings from working at my Uncle's beachside café (of course he gave me a very special discount)
Which was your first sailing club? Cheung Chau Windsurfing Center
First boat sailed? Flat Board
First boat raced? Flat Board
First Event competed in? Cheung Chau Fleet Race
First Event won? Cheung Chau Fleet Race
Principle achievements? Being the first ever athlete from Hong Kong to win an Olympic medal. Three World Championships in 1993, 1997 and 2001. Asian Champion many times and Gold medal in the Asian Games 1998. Winning almost all the continental titles, including Australian Championships, European Championships and Asian Championships.
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date? The first turning point of my sailing career was winning a silver medal in the Asian Games in 1990 (Beijing). The next few years of training and competing in Europe prepared me for races on the International Level. Winning the 1993 World Championships made me even more determined to devote myself in sailing. Taking European titles and other International Championships paved the way for winning the Olympic Gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics n 1996. 96 and 97 was surely one of the best times in my sailing career. I was was voted National Sailor of the Year in 1997 as well as winning the World Championships for the second time. 2001 is another great year for me, being crowned World Champion for the third time in my sailing career, and also winning the Asian Continental Championships
Future sailing aspirations? At present, the most important thing for me is to do well in the National Games 2001 (People's Republic of China). It is the first time I take part in this competition since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997
Briefly state what sailing means to you? Sailing means a lot to me. Through practicing and competing, windsurfing has given me the confidence I needed. Through windsurfing, I understand the importance of learning, and that is how I went back to school and finished my degree course. Since winning the Olympic Gold medal in 1996, I begin to feel the importance of giving back to the society and how the support from the general public at large could help the development of sport.
Who's had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? There are two persons; Mr Lai Kan, my Uncle, and Mr Rene Appel, the windsurfing head coach of Hong Kong. My Uncle taught me a lot, not just about the basic techniques of sailing, but also about the right attitude towards taking up sports, about determination, and about life. Mr. Rene Appel was my first coach when I joined the national squad. He was the one who gave me formal training. His patience and professional guidance was very important to my sailing career. He was more than a coach, who taught me about life as well
Who do you consider to be your sailing hero if any?
Profession? Full time athlete
What other sports do you participate in outside of sailing? Golf and Skiing
Who do you consider to be the greatest sailor in the World and why?
Briefly state what being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2001 means to you? It is definitely recognition of my sailing achievements
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2001, briefly say what will this mean to you? This will be a big encouragement to me in my devotion to the sport of sailing. Sailing has given a lot to me and I am ready to give myself to help develop the sport in Hong Kong and China, and if necessary, Asia and other parts of the world
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