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NBC TO SPOTLIGHT INAUGURAL 10K OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST YUELING CHEN ON JULY 8
Interview to Focus on Athletes Repeat Bid as Member of American Team
SAN DIEGO July 3, 2000 Race Walker Yueling Chen, who captured the hearts of millions as the first Asian woman to win a gold medal in track and field at Barcelona, will be spotlighted by NBC on July 8 and 9, 2000. NBC will broadcast Ms. Chens stirring story at 11 PM PST on July 8 and again at 4 PM PST on July 9. Known for her blazing speed, Ms. Chen won the gold medal as a member of the Chinese Race Walking team in 1992 and will compete for a spot on the U.S. Team during trials on July 16, 2000, in Sacramento, California. If successful, Ms. Chen would be the first Asian to ever represent both the United States and China in international competition.
"Winning the Gold Medal in 1992 was one of the greatest achievements of my life," said Ms. Chen. "It would be a tremendous honor to compete for a medal on behalf of my new home, the United States. I hope this NBC interview will inspire people to reach for their dreams, whatever they may be, as they learn about my efforts to once again compete for the gold."
NBC affiliate KNSD-TV in San Diego interviewed Ms. Chen while she was training and working on June 29. The interview focuses on her string of international race walk victories, gold medal, subsequent celebrity and 1993 migration to the United States. Born in Tie Ling, China, Ms. Chen became a U.S. citizen on April 12, 2000, which made her eligible to compete at the trials for a spot on the U.S. Team.
To qualify for the trials, Ms. Chen had to meet the Olympic "A" 20K standard of 1 hour 36 minutes or less. The July 16 Sacramento trial is the final qualifying event prior to Sydney for the U.S. Race Walking Team. Ms. Yueling must finish in the top three to make the team. Track and Field News predicted that she would finish 2nd in their May 2000 issue. NBC also intends to film Ms. Chen at the Sacramento trials.
A motivated individual, Ms. Chen did not know the language or culture when she moved to the United States. "As with any athlete, I worked hard all my life to overcome obstacles and achieve success," added Ms. Chen. "When I started my new life in the U.S., I drew upon the perseverance, tenacity and focus I used in competition. I believe anyone can use these traits to fulfill their dreams, just as I did."
After moving to the U.S., Ms. Chen set aside her race walking career to focus on her education and position as the Director of Asian Marketing for Imagenetix, a nutritional manufacturer in San Diego, California. But the competitive flame still burned brightly and she returned to the track in 1998. Since then, Ms. Chen set a new American and world record on the track that unfortunately was not recognized because she was not yet a U.S. citizen and one more international judge was required at the event.
"Not only is Yueling a wonderful athlete and accomplished businessperson, shes also active in many wonderful organizations," said Derek Boosey, her manger and advisor for the past 7 years. "She was involved in the 2000 Walk on the Great Wall in China with the Special Olympics China and Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games, 1998 NIKE World Masters Games and supports the Union of Pan Asian Community of San Diego County. Everywhere Yueling goes, people are attracted to her outgoing personality and competitive spirit."
Ms. Chen serves as a spokesperson for a nationwide series of health and fitness walks called the "Yueling Chen 3K Walk & Talk4Seniors". These walks raise money for the 2001 Summer National Senior Games (July 14 to 28) in Baton Rouge, La., where 13,000 adults age 50+ will compete in 18 sports. She has attracted the attention of corporate sponsors including shoppinglouisiana.com, official web provider of Ms. Chens 3K Walk & Talk4Seniors Program; CommCardUSA, official IVR provider; brvc.com, her official marketing agency; thinkingdifferent.com; official web/graphic design firm; and several telecommunications firms.
"Yuelings story is quite compelling," added Mr. Boosey. "She is the first Asian woman to capture a track and field gold medal in the ultimate international competition. Then after six years of retirement she chooses to once again take on the sacrifices and rigorous training required to repeat this feat eight years later, but now for her adopted country. And unlike so many athletes that only have to train, she holds down a full-time job with an international company and is studying for a general degree. Im sure that NBC found this to be one of the most interesting stories of the year."
About Yueling Chen Ms. Yueling Chen is a world-class race walker who has won virtually every international competition and set a world record for the 10K Inaugural event. After becoming the first Asian woman to ever win a track and field gold medal during the 1992 competition in Barcelona, she is the only athlete to have a bronze statue unveiled in China to honor her accomplishment while still alive.
Ms. Chen moved from the Peoples Republic of China to the United States in 1993 where she attended school and became Director of Asian Marketing for Imagenetix, a nutritional manufacturer in San Diego, California. Ms. Chen resumed her athletic career in 1998 and hopes to represent the US in the 20K Inaugural race walk event in Sydney this year. Additional information about Ms. Chen, including weekly updates, is available at www.yuelingchen.com or shoppinglouisiana.com.