The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (CHSSC) celebrated Chinese Americans in Sports on May 3, 2009 at their 34th annual gala dinner in Monterey Park, CA. UCLA’s very own Norm Chow, UCLA football coach, and Kevin Wong, UCLA Volleyball Player and 2000 Olympian Beach Volleyball player were among the honorees.
Complete List of Honorees:
- The late Richard Tom, 1948 Olympic Bronze Medal winner in weight lifting, the first Chinese American to win an Olympic medal.
- The late Olympian Bob Chow, rapid-fire shooter in 1948 Olympics
- Tiffany Chin, Figure Skating Olympian in 1984 Olympics
- Kevin Wong, Year 2000 Olympian Beach Volley Ball Player and UCLA Volleyball Player
- Charles B. Wang, Owner of New York Islanders Hockey Club
- Norm Chow, UCLA Football Coach
- Michael Chang, International Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee
- Kim Ng, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jon Soo Hoo, Photographer for Los Angeles Dodgers
- Carol Jue, Head Coach Chapman University Women’s Basketball; only Chinese head coach in the NCAA
- Lawrence Hom, USC volleyball player
- Cameron Inouye, WNBA Referee
- Annie Yee, former Laker Girl and Rams Cheerleader
- Chinese American Athletic Association
- Chinatown Firecracker Run Committee
Each of the honorees went up to do a thank you speech, and while all of their speeches were inspirational, I found 1984 Figure Skating Olympian Tiffany Chin’s most uplifting. She said that when she was little, her parents would tell her she could be whatever she wants when she grows up. She could be an engineer, doctor, or scientist–whoever inspired her. Back then, those were the professional occupations of most Asian Americans, so those engineers, doctors, and scientists were her only inspirations.
Fast forward to the present and Tiffany has a son of her own, who she brought along to the dinner. Like her parents, she tells her son he can be whatever he wants when he grows up; whatever inspires him. Now, however, with the vast number of achievements Asian Americans have accomplished, her son can really be whatever he wants to be (provided that he eats his broccoli), and the audience and honorees at the dinner is a testament to that.
Posted by Evelina Giang, who has volunteered at this gala for the last three years. This time she brought along some Pacific Ties staffers.