Civic Imagination

The cyclist, Sarah Lee

Lee Wai Sze, Sarah is a Hong Kong racing cyclist. She participated in multiple games and championships which she won medals for team Hong Kong since 2010. She is known for winning the bronze medal in the women's keirin at the 2012 London Olympics. Her career started at 2004 when a coach spotted her potential. Training for a road cyclist at first place, Lee became a sprinter cyclist soon after, where her true potential is. She started winning in international games soon. The road of becoming a champion is not easy. Suffering from injuries which were too critical that the coach recommended her quit riding, she persisted. Training soon resumed while she was still recovering. For many times, she crashed or hurt during competitions. Each of those times she got up and keep riding, eventually winning in some of the games after accidents. Growing up in an ordinary neighborhood called Ngau Tau Kok in Hong Kong, she earned a nickname ‘the goddess of cycling in Ngau’ (牛下女車神). The spirit of her not giving up in any circumstances resonates with the character which many Hong Kongers shared. She now becomes an idol of many youngsters and continues participating in international games.

I am an ordinary student in Hong Kong just like Sarah once was. The story of her appeared on the media soon after she won championships. Her resilience gained media attention which features of her were published widely. I first saw her story on TV news when she won the medals. I found it fascinating soon after that I looked up the internet for her story. Like many Hong Kongers, we all shared the childhood she had. We aspire for a place in the world, and the pride of being Hong Kongers. It was never easy for Hong Kong. It is through the hard work of our predecessors that built the prospers Hong Kong now. Hong Kongers are resilient, just like Lee. We insist until the last minute, regardless of the pain we have. It is now a few years after I first known about her. In these years, I finished my secondary education and fought my way through the brutal public exams. In hard times, I remember her story. As an athlete at the time, I shared her feelings of not wanting to lose. I got into a university that I aspired since a little kid at the end. The story resonates with the our community, I believed many of us was inspired and keep fighting for our dreams.

The story reminds the dreams we have, and how we should hold on to it. Even the chance of success is low, we should still keep our hopes. Although the story is not used for mobilizing people for actions yet, it recalls the passions of many Hong Kongers. Especially youngsters like me who felt lost in the cruel society. It would be useful for the people fighting for democracy, which never turned into reality in Hong Kong. After all the pain and suffering, hope remains.



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