Time to get hyped, this year’s Olympics is just less than three weeks away! In celebrating the lead up to the Olympics, several athletes representing Taiwan (or Chinese Taipei) would be featured in this article as some of the key people to look out for when their event comes up!
As to why Taiwan is recognized as Chinese Taipei, it was due to both the Taiwan government’s desire to main their link to China and the Nagoya Resolution that allowed Taiwan to participate in a unofficial capacity. The ruling subsequently spilled over to other international organizations which enabled Taiwan’s participation but under “Chinese Taipei” such as APEC and WHO. Since then, Chinese Taipei won some competitions in the Olympics, most famous of which being winners of the gold medal for taekwondo and silver for weightlifting in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
This year 55 Taiwanese athletes are participating in 17 different sports competitions such as archery, badminton, boxing, cycling, horseback riding, gymnastics, judo, rowing, shooting, table tennis, weightlifting, taekwondo, wrestling, swimming, tennis, and golf. It is interesting to note that more than half of the Chinese Taipei delegation would be female; at least 31 athletes are female while only 22 are male.
Without further adieu, here are some athletes you should keep your eyes peeled for!
Chen Nien-chin (陳念琴)
With only three years of training, she started on the path of greatness when she earned Chinese Taipei’s first gold medal in a boxing event when she became the Champion of the 2013 Junior and Youth World Boxing Championships. Originally competing in wrestling but changed to middleweight boxing, her accomplishments, including winning silver at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, allowed her to be the first Taiwanese boxer to participate in the Olympics since 1996, including being the first woman boxer to participate under the Chinese Taipei banner. She is Aboriginal; her father is from the Amis tribe while her mother is a member of the Bunun.
Hsu Shu-ching (許淑淨)
Participating in the 53 kg women weightlifting category, she earned 2nd place in the 2012 London Olympics. After news came out regarding the gold medalist’s use of steroids, Hsu’s standing may be upgraded to gold by default. She set a world record in the 2014 Asian Games when she lifted 233 kg.
Chou Tien-chen (周天成)
Winner of several badminton Grand Prixes, his latest victory as the champion of the men’s singles in the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix a few days ago gives a glimpse of his power and skill. He is currently ranked #7 in the world.
Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎)
Also the winner of the women’s singles in the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix, Tai participated in the 2012 Olympics. In 2011 she was the youngest badminton player (16 years old) to be ranked #1 nationally in Taiwan. The following year she also made history as the youngest player to win a Super Series.
Isheau Wong (汪亦岫)
Entering the Olympics through winning the 2015 Olympic Qualifier in Germany, she is the first athlete to participate in the horse riding competition under Chinese Taipei. She started to train since she was 11 years old, participating in several competitions throughout the years in the United States and Europe.
Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇)
Ranked #23 in the WTA rankings, she currently is the highest ranked Taiwanese woman tennis player. She won the 2013 Wimbledon and 2014 French Open competitions, making her the first Taiwanese to win a Gram Slam title. She was famous for choosing to stick with her Chinese tennis partner Peng Shuai which led to the controversy where China offered a generous sponsorship deal if Hsieh renounced her Taiwanese citizenship in favor of China’s.
Update (Aug 4 EST): Hsieh had declared her intent to retire from playing tennis under Chinese Taipei, including the upcoming Olympic games at Rio. Despite the announcement, we have decided to leave her profile untouched as a testament to her accomplishments.
Lu Yen-hsun (盧彥勳)
Currently ranked #71 in the ATP rankings, Lu is the second player in the history of tennis to have reached 300 career Challenger wins. He recently came out from surgery on his elbow which forced him to miss most of his matches. He participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he defeated master tennis player Andy Murray.
These are just some of the stunning athletes that are going to the Olympics to give it all they got for Taiwan! The competitions that they would take part in should be fun to watch.
Best of luck to them!
Check out the video ad below drumming up awareness of the upcoming Olympics: