Most Popular Sports In Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a unique blend of East and West, the English colonial legacy blending seamlessly with Chinese history further in the past, and the current Chinese administration must also be added into the mix.
It is sometimes said that a region's personality can be measured by its sportspeople, and this is true in Hong Kong as much as anywhere else in the world. Horse racing holds a pride of place in the national conscience, as does dragon boat racing.
Ice events like ice hockey in Hong Kong and public skating in Hong Kong have always been the people's choice of weekend activity - we look at the history of some of these sports in Hong Kong.
Ice skating in Hong Kong is enjoyed by many - the region has quite a temperate climate much of the year, and the ice rink offers an opportunity to escape some of the summer heat. The main ways that ice skating in Hong Kong becomes competitive is in figure skating in Hong Kong, and ice hockey in Hong Kong.
The governing body of figure skaters in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Skating Union, who are members of the ISU. Tatsuya Tanaka is one of the better known Hong Kong figure skaters. This three time silver medallist in the national competition is actually Taiwanese born, but competes for Hong Kong.
Edward Ka-Yin Chow is actually Hong Kong's only national born figure skater - the others are Japanese and American born. Ice hockey is the other popular ice event in Hong Kong.
The national ice hockey team is coached by Ng Ka-kin, and was inaugurated in 1987. They suffered a resounding 37-0 defeat to Australia in their first game, but in recent years have corrected the record with a 30-1 win over Macau. Counting ties as wins, they have an even record. Many Hong Kongers have been inspired to take up Hong Kong ice hockey by the hardworking team.
Quite different to the individual sports of ice hockey in Hong Kong and figure skating in Hong Kong is another sport iconic to the region - dragon boat racing. Dragon baots are extremely long, narrow human powered boats, usually decorated with dragon heads and tails at the bow and stern of the boats.
Dragon boats race with a crew of 22 people, however huge traditional dragon boats can have teams of up to 50, which are marvelled at by the relatively tight knit Hong Kong ice hockey teams. There is also a caller, who directs the crew through hand and voice signals, and sometimes a gong striker.
These are usually present more during ceremonial events than speed races. Horse racing is another enormously popular sport in Hong Kong, drawing in a massive 11% of the region's tax revenue.
The popularity of this sport over newer arrivals like ice hockey in Hong Kong is due to its long-established tradition, begum by British colonials in the 19th century.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club was formed in 1884, and it conducts nearly 700 races every season. While it is not a participant sport like figure skating in Hong Kong, it represents an enormous part of Hong Kong's sporting life.
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