The Buzz: Super Stars

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Super Stars:  My parents always look forward to the Summer Olympics in our household.  The Olympic motto is “faster, higher, stronger” where an estimated 10,500 athletes representing 204 nations in 26 sports in 302 events will seek to break world records and “bring home the bacon” this year. (FYI: Team USA has 530 athletes with 128 from California.)    With still 4 days to go, theUS and China are closely battling for the most “Golds” followed by the host country Great Britain (see London2012.com).

Left handed, tattooed, rebel of sorts “Super Dan” did not disappoint, as he once again beat his 2008 Beijing Olympics rival Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in a grueling, exciting badminton final.  Lin Dan was encouraged to play the piano at age 5 but opted for the racket and by age 28, won the Super Grand Slam, winning all 9 major titles (12/2011).  The prior year, he married fellow teammate and world champion badminton star in her own right Xie Xingfang. Guess their kids won’t be playing piano either!

Bay Area Olympians Lily Zhang and Ariel Hsing. Photo courtesy of Bruce H. Liu.

A pleasant surprise was teen sensation, 16-year-old swimmer Ye Shiwen who not only won the 400 medley but also broke the world record (AND passed all the drug tests).   And Bay Area hometown folks were cheering for two other 16 year olds: San Jose resident Ariel Hsing and Palo Alto native Lily Zhang who both train (and practice with other) at the ICC (India Community Center ) in Milpitas, one of only 22 international Table Tennis Federation Hot Spot Training Centers in the world.  Look for these young ladies to comeback in Rio de Janeiro — who won the bid in 2007 to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Mark Twain’s San Francisco:  Speaking of winning bidders, San Francisco will be hosting the prestigious America’s Cup World Series starting August 21-26 later this month and culminating with the finals next year.  SF has the distinction of being only one of seven cities in the world to ever host The Cup since the mid 1800’s.  At last year’s Cup in Spain, BMW Oracle Team (based out of the Golden Gate Yacht Club in SF) beat out the defending team so under the rules, the winner is entitled to select the race format, date, and location of the next race hence SF’s bid submission.

Mayor Ed Lee is counting on something special from the international event: “For the first time in its 160 year history, the America’s Cup races are designed to be seen from land, and San Francisco will be the focus of a world-wide audience.”

But given SF politics and the recession, it hasn’t been easy for SF to meet the Term Sheet check list as originally submitted but things are coming together, as they always do in the “City That Knows How.” Because of the weak economy all over the world, only 5 teams are expected to participate versus the 15 anticipated two years ago. Team Korea White Tiger Challenge (established in 2012) made the cut led by Kim Dong-Young, accomplished sailor and organizer who hopes to “boost the public’s interest in sailing.”

Fan BingBing

According to Reports, it takes about $14m in direct spending to participate in one of these races (travel and housing and temporary construction to house and maintain the boats) and about a $40m commitment over three years to be considered a serious competitor so big money is at stake.  Let’s hope the fog rolls in.

Icon of Style: Famous Chinese actress Fan BingBing made Vanity Fair’s 73rd Annual International Best Dressed List. I’ve been a VF fan for many years and I can tell you…the competition is fierce. This year Fan joins crowned princesses (including Kate), singers, models and other actresses.

The L’oreal Ambassador was born in Qingdao (home of the famous beer) and raised in Yantai.  Her first major film, “Lost in Beijing” (2007) was controversial and not well received by Beijing for its content and nude scene but she was not discouraged and teamed up again with Director Li Yu for “Buddha Man” (2010) and won best Actress at the Tokyo International Film festival.She first caught fashions’ eye at the Cannes Film Festival wearing the stunning “Dragon Robe” by designer Laurence Hsu on the Red Carpet in 2010.  The next year she wore a beautiful Crane Dress for the opening on the Cannes Festival and this year, she wore an elegant white strapless “vintage” gown modeled after the Qing Dynasty.  In July, she made a guest appearance at designer Stephanie Rolland’s fashion show and she is the first mainland Chinese star to be featured in a major Paris show.Fan has two new movies set to release this year and I look forward to her 2013 Cannes appearance.

Miss Asian America 2012 winner Emily Tang

Most Established Asian American Pageant in US:  This year, Founder Rose Chung decided to open up her Miss Asian American Pageant to young women living in other countries and added a new category titled Miss Asian Global.  On Saturday August 4, 2012, San Franciscan Susie Lee, age 19, beat out 19 other beautiful and talented women from around the world with her Korean Drum talent and her Platform on “Healthcare” and how language barriers effect the quality and access to needed care (I hope she takes up the Hep B cause as she talks to groups during her one year reign).

Miss Asian American went to Emily Tang, 21, a student at UC Davis majoring in Human Development and Chinese.  Her role model is the legendary “Mulan” a young woman who bravely disguises herself as a man to take the place of her elderly father as a leader in the army.  Celebrity On-Air Personality Freska at 99.7 NOW was the Mistress of Ceremonies.  “Over the past 8 years, the young women are more confident and more competitive.  This year they were on top of their game!” said Public Relations Director Stephanie Ng.

Entertaining:  Something to like for everyone: horses, disco balls, tennis, fashion, fast cars, you got to catch this video….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0.

Please email me with news to Fiona@FionaMa.com.

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