It’s a family affair: Arabella Ng adds another Olympic chapter as skier sets off for Pyeongchang
Young Hong Kong athlete keeping up a proud tradition begun by her aunt, distinguished swimmer and rower Fenella Ng Gar-loc
When 16-year-old Arabella Ng carries the Hong Kong flag at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday, she will continue a family tradition.
Her aunt, Fenella Ng Gar-loc, a retired swimmer and rower, was the flag bearer for Hong Kong at the 2000 Sydney Olympics after taking part in the 1984 Los Angeles Games and the Seoul Games four years later.
And her uncle, Michael Tse Ka-tak, Fenella’s husband, was also a representative for Hong Kong at the 1996 Atlanta Games as a rower.
“We all support her and will travel to Pyeongchang to watch her,” said Fenella Ng, who represented Hong Kong in two successive Olympic Games as a swimmer before switching to rowing.
“She is still very young but her dedication to sport is second to none. She trains hard like any athlete at the highest level and is also smart in academics.
“Going to the Olympic Games is a big dream for any athlete, especially for Arabella at such a young age. In fact, she still has plenty to come after the Pyeongchang Games.”
Fenella Ng would not compare her Olympic experience with that of her niece, however, as they are from different sports.
“I first went to the Olympic Games in 1984, possibly around the same age as Arabella, but I was in a swimming team and the pressure was not as big. Arabella is the only Hong Kong representative,” she said.
Arabella said: “It is cool and very inspiring because she was an Olympian and me too, although we are from different sports.”
The Pyeongchang Games will almost certainly be a learning experience for the teenager with the Winter Games going to Beijing in 2022.
“It’s a major breakthrough for Ng to have qualified for the Winter Games and it sets a good example for our young athletes,” said skiing association president Edmund Yue Kwok-yin.
“We understand there are no facilities in Hong Kong due to the climate, but we have been working well with our fellow regional counterparts, such as the Chinese and South Korean skiing associations, so our athletes can train overseas before trying for an Olympic berth.”
Yue said there were over 20,000 recreational skiers in Hong Kong and a small number of potential athletes.
“It’s always difficult to lift these athletes from recreational to professional level. A lot more hard work is required but Arabella’s case has proved we can make it.
“We sincerely hope her presence in Pyeongchang can bolster the development of winter sports in Hong Kong so we can have more representatives in Beijing,” said Yue.