The first opportunity I had to see the Beijing Team during their most recent visit was Valentines Day weekend. Me and a bunch of my fellow wushu practicioners from the Bay Area took a road trip down to visit the Team during their second week in the US. We got to watch their workout (just to remind us how awesome their Wushu is), and we got the opportunity to take them around on their day off.
|Liu Juan, Liu Qing Hua,Jian Zeng Jian and I at some restaurant in Monterey Park. Liu Qing Hua is demonstrating her intense "wushu stare." By the way, they aren't all sitting on my lap.|
That evening Brandon Sugiyama's incredibly cool parents were generous enough to invite the whole team over for dinner (hey, what the heck, dinner party tonight for 30!) This gave us a chance to catch up with our old friends from '95, as well as meet some of the newer team members we didn't know yet.
In case you were wondering, of the '95 Team, the only returing women were
Li Jing and Chen Chen. Most of the men came back except for Di Guang Wen
and Ka Li. Jing Yi reportedly has become a reporter and/or camera woman
for TV in China. Zhu Gui Jun and Di Guang Wen have gone to Singapore to
coach. Ka Li is coaching in Hong Kong, Zhuang Hui has retired. Liu Zai
Hong and Tan Hua are missing in action as far as I know. Oh, and Li Qiang
is still on the team, they just didn't bring her this time.
|Eric, He Jing De, Raffi, Patrick and Jiang Bong Jun hanging out in front of Bullwinkle's Mini-golf/Video arcade.|
|She might not be able to play the skate board video game very well, but her wushu is awesome.|
Unfortunately none of the Beijing Team members were brave enough to try "Xiao Golf." Although reportedly some of them like the Go Carts. Eventually we skipped out of the arcade and resumed our sock and sneaker shopping from the previous day at a nearby sports store.
That evening we were treated to dinner by some very generous people who we
don't know, but they were nice enough to pay for all of us who were just
visiting. This allowed us a peak in to the Beijing Team's mysterious
eating habits. This particular night I think they were in the mood for
sweets, because in addition to full entres, they also decided to order
fancy drinks and deserts, which they had no problem eating before the
meal. Thai Ice Tea, followed by a Banana Split, throw in a milk shake,
THEN get to the actual dinner. I would not have believed it if I didn't
witness it with my own eyes. One picture I took but didn't scan was of
Shang Yu after the meal, with like 2 empty plates, and 4 empty glasses on
the table in front of him, and this "I can't believe I ate the whole
thing" look on his face.
|Li Jing performing straightsword during the Intercollegiate Wushu Championships.|
The next trip down was an eventful one. While giving our good friend Li
Jing a lift back to Huntington Beach my car decided to do its best
Exxon Valdez impersonation, that is to say it decided to leak about
a quart of oil every 100 miles or so as we drove down I-5. This was a
really quick trip, but Patrick and I did get to spend some quality time
with Wu Bin, talking business
the Beijing Team's next performances and our ideas about promoting wushu
to a higher level.
|After their 9 hour drive, Patrick and Raffi need to be supported by Shang Yu to stay on their feet. Notice the oil slick eminating from the back of my car.|
|From reading their lips I think Jiang Bong Jun and Liu Yang were screaming something along the lines of, "Please don't ram us! Please put down the camera!"|
|There the team is lined up at the National Wushu Training Center practicing for the standing ovation at the end of their performances.|
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