Case study 1: Sam Wong Tak-sum

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 October, 2009, 12:00am

Windsurfer Sam Wong Tak-sum has been recognised with numerous international awards over the past two decades. He first gained fame at the age of 20, and now, as a retired athlete, he is working at the Hong Kong Athlete Career and Education Programme. He manages and hosts seminars to help athletes plan for retirement.

He started windsurfing when he was 15 and became a full-time athlete at 20, despite pressure from his grandmother to quit the sport and get a real job. The hard work paid off when he won a silver medal at the Asia Games in 1994. He has never been overwhelmed by fame and success and describes himself as someone who is strongly aware of risks.

He kept up his studies, returning to school while participating in the sport. He took seven years to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Sports Administration to ensure he had a career.

'I always encourage young athletes to make good use of their fame, volunteer and do things to inspire others,' he says. 'Fame gives us influence.'

He is married to Olympic gold medallist windsurfer Lee Lai-shan and has two children aged two and four.