Asian Canadians are medal hopefuls for Canada's Olympics: Mira Leung and Emmanuel Sandhu

Canada's 16 year old skating darling Mira Leung
is on the front cover of the Vancouver Sun's Torino 2006 supplement
today. Leung placed silver at last months Canadian Championships in
Ottawa to send her to the Torino 2006 Olympics.  Leung is born and
raised in Vancouver, and hopes to be able to compete in her hometown of
Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics.

Jeff Paterson writes in today's Georgia Straight:

Maybe the best story among the British Columbians heading for Italy
is Burnaby figure skater Mira Leung. Just 16 years old, Leung really
can’t be considered a medal contender in her first Olympic experience.
But after a second-place finish at the nationals last month in Ottawa,
she served notice to the skating world that she’ll be a force here at
home four years from now.

“The average 16-year-old might be
overwhelmed by something like this, but not Mira. I just got an e-mail
from her the other day about how excited she is at this opportunity,”
Pattenden said. “And she really needs this experience for 2010. She’s
going there [Turin] to perform and she’s hoping for a top-16 finish.”

Emmanuel Sandhu
is an outside medal chance, but he has been refining his mental
training skills over the years.  Sandhu was a potential medal
winner for the Men's Figure Skating at the Salt Lake City Olympics in
2002, but had to pull out due to an aggravated injury.  Last week,
I talked with sports psychologist David Cox, whom I studied with at
Simon Fraser University.  David is going to Turino with Sandhu,
who has been known to be inconsistent despite being Canadian Champion
in 2001, 2003, and 2004, and in 2003 he want the World's Grand Prix
Gold medal.  Sandhu has been living in Vancouver's Yaletown and
training in Burnaby, since moving from Ontario.  His ethnic
parentage is Italian and South Asian, but he says he best describes
himself as Canadian.

Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe
have been perennial also-rans on the Canadian Ice Dance team, but they
are now going to the Olympics for their very first time.  The
Vancouver skaters who train in Detroit have waited a long time to get
their Olympic shot.  I met them in 2001 during the World
Championships when Sale and Pelletier won Gold in Vancouver.  They
are a very nice couple and wonderful with the audience.  When the
planned meet and greet for Sale and Pelletier turned into a Q&A
session because of the large crowds, Wing and Lowe acted as MC's for
the evening.  I was able to ask a question about the importance of
mental training for their routine, as the TV cameras had focused on
Sale and Pelletier practicing Tai Chi movements, before their
competition.  “Good question,” said Lowe to me as he repeated the
question for the audience. “They showed that?” exclaimed Jaime Sale,
who exlained that they had been learning Tai Chi from a wonderful
master to help them focus their energies, and of couse mental training
was a very very important part of their training.

Here are some related articles


Vancouver Sun

Montreal Gazette

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