Aug 07, 2008|
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I was always an average student, but swimming made me special.
My father and grandfather are both trained swimmers, so they wanted me to swim almost as soon as I was born. My lessons began at age two.
Training wasn’t difficult for me. I enjoyed it and it gave me great satisfaction. By age 11, I was representing Hong Kong at international competitions.
When I got to university, I decided to study accounting. It’s not that I was interested—it’s just easier to find a job when you graduate. Sometimes you have to be realistic.
I ditched athletics because a sportsman’s lifespan is very short. Accounting was a way to ensure I wouldn’t be left stranded.
I do wish I was still swimming. I wish I could be in the Beijing Olympics. But sometimes you have to make a choice.
We should set a goal and think about our future early on in our lives. A lot of people seem to be lacking a sense of crisis.
Show business was my most promising career option after graduation. I certainly like it better than accounting.
If you like what you do, you will naturally be good at it. But the reality is we can’t always find something we like. In that case, go for whatever has the most opportunities.
I wish the government would make sports compulsory. I’m not talking about just physical education lessons. The school should require every student to join a sports team and work out a few hours per week at least.
Hong Kong people are weaker for not having mandatory army service. We have more obese people than other Asian cities. We can compete in terms of wealth, but we definitely lose out in terms of health.
Many people actually like to exercise, but the lifestyle here is too busy, and the spaces too small to move in.
Athletes generally have a more positive mindset because they have to face the possibility of failure more than ordinary people do.
Being an artist is just like being an athlete; everyone can see how well you’re doing.
When I represented Hong Kong at the Olympics, I felt like a Hong Konger. But during my time this year as a torchbearer, I felt very Chinese.
The sense of being Chinese among the newer generation is stronger because they grew up after the handover.
Face your fears. This is an important lesson I’ve learned. I once walked side-by-side with a full-grown tiger for a television show.