Archive for January, 2010
It was a typical Wednesday morning at the office in Chinatown but some of us were keenly aware of what was about to happen a few blocks away at G.M. Place. A couple of my colleagues were actually selected to attend the special event.
The day was July 2nd, 2003.
The event was a live broadcast of the IOC announcement of the winning bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.
It seemed so far away at the time but now we are only 2 weeks away from the opening ceremony.
And I’m about to embark on an experience of a lifetime.
The uniform has been picked up and my last training session will take place on Sunday. A week from today I will start my first shift as an Olympic volunteer.
Between now and the end of the Paralympics in March, I hope to share with you some of the sights and sounds of this once-in-a-generation event, both from a volunteer and a spectator perspective.
Stay tune for Fong Bao’s Aventures Olympiques (F.BAO)
Takes a big man (literally) to make such a big speech.
Awesome quote at the end!
“All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” - Conan O’Brien
Leno: All you have is just a big chin.
The other day, Italian Bears Fan (aka The Mitt) updated his Facebook status with this:
“Is it just me, or does it feel like the last decade whipped by pretty damn quickly?”
To which I commented:
“Yeah. No kidding. I’m gonna miss the 90’s…….”
The “Noughties” has gone by so fast, I thought we had just finished the 90’s.
Yet the past 10 years were filled with many memorable and profound events that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Allow me to share with you some of the following (in no particular order)
<Canada wins Olympic hockey gold – 2002>
Aside from food, sports have a way of bringing people together. And in Canada, nothing unifies the country like hockey. I can’t remember how many of us were together that day – must have been at least 10 – but when Joe Sakic scored the last goal of the game, we all huddled in a circle and started jumping like crazy. Later on when ‘O Canada’ was played after the medal presentation, we all stood up and sang with pride and gusto. I was proud to be a Canadian that day.
<The World Cup – 2002>
When Japan and South Korea hosted the tournament, I got to experience the one aspect I missed about watching footy in Asia: the late night viewing. Because of the time difference, I had to alter my sleep schedule in order to enjoy some of the matches live. It was hard to stay up on some nights but never once did I complain. Besides watching at home, Cdn Gooner and I even went to the British Ex-servicemen Association to watch all the England matches live with a bunch of ex-pats. As you can imagine, being the two token Chinese guys in the crowd, we stood out like a sore thumb. Now that I think about it, it’s amazing how much devotion I, and others, offered to the beautiful game that summer.
<The MLB season – 2001>
It was memorable for 3 reasons: A magical 116-win regular season by the Mariners, the opportunity to attend the MLB all-star game in Seattle and being able to be part of a hugely successful North American debut of one Ichiro Suzuki. What he did that season was nothing short of phenomenal and gave great hope to all Asians who aspired to be the best.
<Yet I will Praise – 2004>
It was early Saturday morning and the start of Euro 2004 in Portugal. Oregon Alum and I were on our way to Seattle for a baseball game when we received an urgent prayer request. One of our brothers from Church was involved in a serious accident the night before. I can’t say that I know J.W. very well but he has always struck me as a young man who loved music, worship, his family & friends and, more importantly, God Himself. As much and as hard as we prayed that morning, J.W. went to be with the Lord after succumbing to his injuries.
At his funeral, as I struggled to comprehend why the accident happened, this song struck a chord and spoke to me on many different levels.
Yet I will Praise – Andy Park
I will praise You Lord my God
Even in my brokenness
I will praise You Lord
I will praise You Lord my God
Even in my desperation
I will praise You Lord
And I can’t understand
All that You allow
I just can’t see the reason
But my life is in Your hands
And though I cannot see You
I choose to trust You
Even when my heart is torn I will praise (trust) You Lord
Even when I fee deserted I will praise (trust) You Lord
Even in my darkest valley I will praise (trust) You Lord
And when my world is shattered and it seems all hope is gone
Yet I will praise You Lord
<My days working in Chinatown>
It was stressful and overwhelming at times working in that market and environment but the experience was invaluable. And as fate would have it, it was also the place where I met Pie Pie Lo. The rest, as they say, was history.
<The birth of Little Drumstick – 2006>
She has been a blessing to me and Pie Pie Lo. Perhaps it’s her naivety or “youthful” outlook on life but every time I interact with Little Drumstick, I’m reminded of the simple things in life and the need to embrace and enjoy them.
<Return to Hong Kong – 2007>
As I shared previously, it was a big reason why I started “The Oven” and the catalyst to my continual quest for self discovery.
<September 11th, 2001>
Perhaps the “JFK” moment of my generation. That fateful morning I was awaken by the sound of my sister, L, who was shocked by the images she saw on CNN. Still half asleep, I got in front of the television just when the south tower collapsed. At the time, I didn’t know what to make of what I had witnessed. Then on my way to work, I began to grasp the full implication of the situation as I learned how everything unfolded earlier through the radio. I kept shaking my head, refusing to believe that someone had actually masterminded and carried out such a devious plan. Sadly, it did, and like many, I realized life will never be the same after that day.
<May 27th, 2006>
My wedding day. It took a bit longer that I anticipated but it was truly a day I will cherish. And I can honestly say that I’m very lucky to have found someone wonderful to be my 長途伴侶 (partner through life’s long journey).