Hong Kong Homies is a series where we get deep real fast with Hongkongers.
Yehudi Chan, 16
My name is Jewish. My brother’s is too and I think my sister’s name is Greek. Together, our initials make up “XYZ”. My parents are actually Christians, though. I used to go to church but I stopped when I started training for triathlons.
My siblings don’t really go to church either but our parents don’t force us to go. Though my mom does tell us to pray for a safe flight before we board a plane, or pray about it when something bad happens. I’m not really sure how I feel about Christianity, but I don’t think religion plays a big role in my life.
Getting into triathlon was a gradual process. I was always good at swimming, later realized I was not bad at running, and so decided that I might as well take up cycling too and compete in triathlons. When I race, I only focus on finishing and any strategies that can help me win. It’s nice because I don’t have to worry about anything else — it’s like a temporary getaway from reality ‘cause all that matters then is me and that finish line.
I recently joined the national Hong Kong triathlon team. But I wouldn’t call myself a national representative yet since I haven’t been in any international competitions so far. We train almost every day. If we have training sessions in the morning, I wake up at 5:30am — which is usually in rather remote areas in Tai Po and Shatin — before going to school on Hong Kong Island.
I don’t think I’ve achieved the happiest [moment in my life] yet, ‘cause if I did, then my life would be pointless. I might have a favorite memory, but I’m not sure if it counts ‘cause it’s not really a memory but rather a recording of my adolescence with my siblings on a particular day.
We were playing football and it reminded me of how carefree we were and how we enjoyed each other’s company. But then nowadays, we rarely have a moment to do that with school and all. Well, we do still get the time but it’s just not really the same, it doesn’t have the same innocence.
I may stay in Hong Kong or go to the UK, mainly depending on whether I decide to stay on the triathlon team. It’ll mostly be my decision but I think my parents want me to continue. If I continue, I’ll be 20, the prime age for competing when the 2020 Olympic Games come. But I’m not fast enough, so who knows.
I have a lot on my plate, so I’m not sure why I continue with triathlon sometimes. It takes a lot of my time and I never get enough sleep. I haven’t been doing well in school lately — my grades aren’t good enough if I want to get into medicine. I feel like I can do better if I put more work into it. Maybe… I don’t know. I’m trying to keep afloat but sometimes I feel like my head is barely above water and I’m drowning….