Asian Pacific American Heritage Month allows us to focus on athletes that many of our students can look up to. Generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders have helped enrich America’s history with great accomplishments on and off the field.
We honor just some of them and celebrate their impact.
Julie Chu, who is three-quarter Chinese, is a four-time Olympic medalist with the United States women’s hockey team. While at Harvard University, she won the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best female college hockey player and finished her career as the all-time assists leader and points scorer in NCAA history with 284 points. She is tied as the second-most decorated U.S. female Winter Olympic athlete and was honored as the flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Michael Chang was the first U.S. man to win the French Open singles title in 34 years when he won in 1989. Michael’s memorable run to the French Open title involved a comeback against World Ranked #1 Ivan Lendl and unconventional underhand serves. He was a top-ranked tennis player for most of his career and the youngest ever winner of a Grand Slam tennis tournament in men’s singles. His impact on the court led him to being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Hines Ward, who was born to a Korean mother and an African American father, was the MVP of Super Bowl XL as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. His storied career also includes another Super Bowl Championship, 4x Pro Bowl selections, and multiple records in collegiate and professional football. In addition to his football accomplishments, Hines has made an impact off the field with social work in Korea and the U.S.
Michelle Wie, otherwise known as Big Wiesy, is a professional golfer with a number of accomplishments to her name. First and foremost, she is a five time LPGA Tour winner, which includes a win at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. Before turning pro, Michelle had qualified for the USGA amateur championship and an LPGA event. By the way, this happened while she was only a pre-teen. As a teenager, she managed to make the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open, win a USGA adult event, and play at a PGA Tour event against men.