Asian Champion, World Junior Champion, highest world rank at number 5, these are the achievements of 24-year-old Hong Kong national team fencer Cheung Ka Long. However, these wouldn't have been possible without his hard work and determination, and most importantly the support of his parents.
'Ka Long often kept to himself. We often made decisions for him, including what sports he played,' said Cheung's parents, and that is how Cheung first learned about fencing. However, at first, Cheung's mother wanted him to focus on basketball as she was a former basketball player. Yet, Cheung showed greater interest in fencing and his parents decided to allow him to stick with the sport.
'My parents were very strict,' said Cheung, 'in fact, they were a lot stricter than other parents. When I lost a match, they wouldn't comfort me and would only tell me it was okay. Instead, when I cried, they would tell me crying was for the weak.” For a child, this was hard to comprehend, but as Cheung grew, he slowly understood his parents' expectations. 'I don't like being looked down on. It acts as my source of motivation. What my parents said pushed me to improve and helped me understand what my goals were. I would also like to thank them for allowing me to go on this journey. They believed in me and allowed me to go professional before finishing school.'
By competing in the Olympics, Cheung fulfilled his parents' dream as athletes. Although they will not be able to watch his matches in person due to the pandemic, they will still be very excited to watch their son compete through live TV broadcast. No matter what results Cheung gets, one thing is for certain – his parents will always be proud of him.