16 September 2021

Dear Parents and Students,

 I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV, but the government buying the rights to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics for five TV broadcasting meant I was able to watch the Olympic Games during the summer vacation.

While we are proud of the outstanding performance of the Chinese athletes in Olympics, what also excited me was our young Hong Kong athletes. In Hong Kong, people are under great pressure. It is difficult for young people to pursue extraordinary dreams. Even if they have a pure and clear goal to achieve, they have to overcome many challenges while training intensively. The Hong Kong swimmer Siobhan Bernadette Haughey, who won two silver medals in the Tokyo Olympics, shared that she used to get up at 5 o'clock in the morning to train, and then spend her day studying at school before continuing her training in the evening. Her story teaches us that persistence and perseverance can make a big difference in our lives.

Elite athletes have to train and compete in different countries to continuously improve their standard. Therefore, it is very difficult for them to continue their studies. The Olympic fencing gold medalist Edgar Cheung Ka Long decided to give up his studies to become a full-time athlete. It is common for athletes to encounter bottlenecks and fail to break through certain performance barriers, but when Edgar faced this he did not give up. He kept finding ways to improve and strengthen his weaknesses. His determination impressed us. He didn’t panic and kept calm until he had won. It was touching to see him take the gold medal.

Sarah Lee Wai Sze, a cycling hero who grew up in a tiny flat in the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate, is an athlete whom I have admired for many years. She has had to overcome many obstacles in her life. To start with, she suffers from anaemia, a condition which she was born with. She also had an injury that almost ended her career, she experienced a crash on the track in the Olympics and she sadly suffered the sudden death of her previous coach. Despite this, even as she gets older, she strives to carry out endurance training in order to be in the best condition possible. Her perseverance enabled her to deliver such an extraordinary performance, making her the first Hong Kong athlete to win medals in back to back Olympics.

She had more success recently winning a gold and a bronze medals in the National Games of China. Growing up in the same public estate, I am very proud of Sarah indeed. I remember her heartfelt sharing after winning the Olympic Games: "At least I have tried my best, no regrets!" She has experienced many ups and downs in her life, and these experiences make her words mean more than a thousand words. There are many people walking in the dark and feeling down about themselves. Of course, not everyone's life story will be recorded or mentioned, but God is fair and just. He lets everyone experience countless failures. Even if we continually ask God when our trials will be over, we may not hear His answer, but He always reminds us to "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything, because this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) God teaches us to be grateful in every experience, be strong, be brave, be tough, and fight until the end, with the confidence of "At least I have tried my best, no regrets!" When put together, love, integrity, purity and perseverance are four qualities that hold the key to success.

After two years of the pandemic, have you become a low motivated, less energetic and self-centred person? Or have you become a self-motivated, sensible, independent learner? I hope the stories of Hong Kong’s Olympians will inspire you to continually “stay positive and spread love” both during and after pandemic. We have learnt from the young people above that your attitude affects your ability. May your story inspire and enlighten other people someday.

Best regards,
Constance Cheung

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
(John 13:34)