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The following statement was issued by Mr. Derek Boosey, manager and advisor for Gold Medallist Race Walker Ms. Yueling Chen on August 3, 2000:

"The Chinese Olympic Committee is attempting to commit a travesty against a young woman who brought tremendous honor to her native country. Even though they initially applauded her efforts, the COC wants to deny Ms. Yueling Chen the opportunity to be the first Chinese athlete to make the US team, and perhaps the first athlete to return after six years of no training to compete in the Olympics.

The Chinese Track and Field Association and Chinese Olympic Committee allowed Ms. Chen to emigrate to the US in 1993, where she attended school and built a solid career. Yueling applied the same hard work ethic to business that she relied upon to capture Olympic Gold in 1992, which required her to completely retire from race walking for six years. The competitive fires were eventually stoked during her many appearances for international charities, inspiring her to train again for the Olympics. Yueling completed the arduous process of securing US citizenship, trained while holding down a full-time job and eventually won both her citizenship and a spot on the US Olympic race walk team.

Rule 46.2 is a good guide for determining the status of athletes who immigrate. However, I believe the spirit of the rule is to prevent individuals from changing countries for the purpose of competing. Obviously Yueling did not move to the US to become part of the American race walking team. She retired for six years and did not even try to compete in the 1996 games. She has met the lengthy requirements that the US government imposes to become a citizen here and now she wants to represent her new home.

Yueling has one of the most inspirational stories I have ever been privileged to hear. She grew up in a rural Chinese village to become the first Asian woman to ever win a track and field gold medal. Yueling moves to the US and becomes a hard working citizen, contributing hours of her time to various charities abroad. Then, in the greatest tradition of amateur athletics, she begins training while in her late 20s and after work to represent her adopted country.

This underdog continues to defy the odds. I encourage everyone around the world to lobby the International Olympic Committee and Chinese Olympic Committee to sweep aside this attempt to keep such a deserving individual from completing the come back story of the year. Yueling represents the best aspects of the Games and I implore the world to come to the side of this lone individual standing up for her right to compete as an American." Yueling Chen is the best Goodwill ambassador in America to support China in their efforts to win the 2008 Summer Olympics Games.

About Yueling Chen
Ms. Yueling Chen is a world-class race walker who has won virtually every international competition. After becoming the first Asian woman to ever win a track and field gold medal during the 1992 competition in Barcelona, she moved from the People's Republic of China to the United State. Additional information about Ms. Chen is available at www.yuelingchen.com or shoppinglouisiana.com.



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