Hong Kong’s Chan Chun-hing on a mission to raise the bar in local mountain biking
Chan has set up his own company organising events for the public or riders with potential in the sport
Asian Games champion mountain biker Chan Chun-hing is trying to open up Hong Kong’s countryside by turning his hand to becoming an “event organiser and promoter”.
Chan has eschewed the normal path into coaching and set up his own company organising events for the public or riders with potential in the sport.
“Now I am no longer an athlete, I am a mountain bike promoter,” he said. “I have to handle everything from event organisation to its marketing side, including talking to sponsors, volunteers, the cycling association and other related authorities. It’s a big challenge.”
Chan, 36, will stage his first event in Cheung Chau on Sunday, with more than 150 riders entered including Asian Games multi-gold medallist Wong Kam-po. The event will also feature other cycling events such as cycle cross.
Chan said cycling clubs and authorities in mainland China and Taiwan had also approached him for possible joint ventures.
“They know me well in mountain biking and are happy to use my expertise to help them develop the sport,” he said. “I welcome all the opportunities, and let’s see how it progresses.”
Chan represented Hong Kong in three consecutive Olympic Games from Beijing in 2008, and won gold at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and silver at the Incheon Asiad four years later.
“I have been in mountain biking for many years as I turned to full-time training when I was 21. I know all the technical aspects of the sport and I am happy to have the opportunity of learning the other aspects of mountain biking.
“It is a challenging sport with a lot of excitement. It is also a sport that can give you the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment. This suits Hong Kong very much as we have a lot of beautiful scenery in the countryside.
“There is a lot of work we can do in the grass-roots development, especially among the local community and we hope mountain biking in Hong Kong can become as popular as other disciplines of cycling.”