Date
11 December 2017
Lee Lai-shan has been sharing her gold-medal-winning philosophy with young footballers. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club
Lee Lai-shan has been sharing her gold-medal-winning philosophy with young footballers. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club

Surfing heroine San San gives back — to football

It’s not often you find Olympic surfing champion Lee Lai-shan digress from her sport, but she has — for the sake of football.

Make that youth football.

San San, as she is endearingly called, has been sharing her gold-medal winning philosophy with young footballers at a youth football leadership workshop organized by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Metro Daily reported.

When setting a goal and pursuing it, make it your own, not anyone else’s, she told the youngsters. “Not even your mum’s.”

Lee said she had to do whatever it took to follow her dream because when she was young, she would sleep on the street as she was too poor to join a training camp.

She wasn’t always thorough. In fact, she was nicknamed “70 Percent Shan” because that was all the effort she put into a task.

That changed when an uncle asked her to help with chores in a windsurfing center, she said.

San San went on to win the gold medal in the Asian Games twice and in the world championships three times. In 1996, she sailed to a gold-medal finish in Atlanta for Hong Kong’s first-ever Olympic gold.

Since then, she has been inspiring young people to take up windsurfing and lending her fame to various causes.

This time, although she is doing her bit for football, she struck a blow for athletics by calling on the government to put more resources into developing the sport as a way to ease social problems

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