2016年12月28日 星期三

2017 Taipei Summer Universiade – The Quest for Roller Sport Gold Paiwan Skating ‘God of War’ Sung Ching-Yang

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2016/12/29 第160期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份Taipei
2017 Taipei Summer Universiade – The Quest for Roller Sport Gold Paiwan Skating ‘God of War’ Sung Ching-Yang20
2017 Taipei Summer Universiade – The Quest for Roller Sport Gold Paiwan Skating ‘God of War’ Sung Ching-Yang20
Sporting his tribe’s sacred hundred-pacer snake totem on his clothing, his hair shaved on both sides, with the remaining gathered up into a ponytail, he flies around the track like a sharp hunting knife cutting through air. Sung Ching-Yang (宋青陽) is a member of the Paiwan tribe (排灣族) and his indigenous name is Pagalefa Ranalang. He is a champion in both inline and long-track speed skating, and his prey at the 2017 Taipei Universiade is 4 gold medals!

Racing the Wind – Inline & Long Track Two-Sport Athlete

Sung is from the Paiwan community of Rulakes (魯拉克斯) in Taitung County (台東縣)’s Jinfeng Township (金峰鄉). Over the course of 20 years of effort and the mentoring of his coach, Dai Yongsong (戴永松), dedicated to uncovering and developing his talents, Sung has written page after page in a developing legend centered on Taiwan inline and long-track speed skating.

Coach Dai, who is nicknamed “Daddy Dai” (戴爸), is one of the most important people in Sung’s life. Originally a foreman at the construction site where Sung’s parents worked, he was also an amateur skating coach. At an early age Sung began roller skating for fun with Dai’s children, and fell in love with the thrill of moving at high speeds. Dai saw his potential, and began actively cultivating his talent. When Sung was in the fifth grade, Dai took him to mainland China for higher-level training.

At 17, Sung competed in the World Roller Speed Skating Championships for the first time in the Junior category, and raced away with 5 gold medals. “I was moved to tears,” he says. “That event gave me great confidence!” In the following year he took part in Taiwan’s Citizens Sport Games (全民運動會), the Asian Roller Skating Championships, and the Guangzhou Asian Games, skating away with 9 golds, 1 silver, and amazing momentum.

In 2012, Sung ended up in a dispute with the national skating association, and was suspended from competition for three years. “Three years with no competition in skating, the thing I love best,” he says. “Of course I felt wronged, and for a time I felt like giving up on my sports career. In the end, with Daddy Dai’s encouragement I took up speed skating, though I had to start all over again.” Sung says that the difference between inline and speed skating is like that between basketball and korfball. “In basketball you can score off the backboard, but in korfball you need a 100% clean shot into the basket. In speed skating your contact with the surface is minimal, resistance is small, and your actions must be precise and rapid, making it more difficult than inline skating.”

Sung’s suspension had unexpectedly resulted in him becoming a rarity – a double-sport athlete. After more than a year of practice he decided to take on the challenge of the long-track speed skating competition at the winter Olympics. However, he could not break the 36.7-second mark in the 500m event. “I was very frustrated,” he says, “and this result kept me from qualifying. I was very depressed.” However, things suddenly began to click for him at a qualifying competition in Canada, where he clocked a time of 35.2 seconds, and afterward he posted a time of 34.64 at his second World Roller Speed Skating Championships. He had punched his ticket to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and became the first-ever skater from Taiwan to compete.

Breakout of His Indigenous Spirit – On the Hunt for Glory

In sport, the road can be lonely and difficult. To prepare for the Sochi Olympics, Sung went alone to Germany for three months of special training at a skating school. “The others there looked at me and, seeing I wasn’t very talkative, seemed to think I was a little odd, but that I was also pretty good.” They were quite impressed with his abilities, and a Dutch roller-sports magazine even did a report on him.

However, the effects of a back injury meant that the results for Sung at the Olympics were less than ideal. Afterwards, he shaved his head as a way to express his fierce determination, then allowed a tuft to grow back in. This invariably made him the most distinctive figure on the track. “Beyond the advantages of inherent explosiveness and coordination that comes with being indigenous,” he says, “of course you have to add your own hard work.”Whether on wheels or on blades, his quest is speeds faster than the wind, “Like a cheetah, expending everything I have in the hunt for glory!”

In 2015, Sung won gold in the 500-meter event at the Asian Roller Skating Championships, breaking the record eight years consecutively. After this, the very next time he competed, at Taiwan’s Citizens Sports Games, he won double gold while setting a new national record. Putting the dark cloud of his ban well behind him, Sung now moves easily between inline and long-track speed skating. His skies opened and horizons broadened, he says that, “I am very confident about the 2017 Taipei Universiade, and hope to win gold. Then I’ll get back to working hard, and believe I have a chance to snatch some medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics!”

Song Ching-Yang – Achievements


World Roller Speed Skating Championships, Junior category: Gold, 300m / Gold, 500m / Gold, 1000m / Gold, Marathon / Gold, Relay


Citizens Sport Games: Gold, 300m event / Gold, 500m / Gold, 100m / Gold, relay

Asian Roller Skating Championships: Gold, 300m Track / Gold, 500m Road / Gold, 200m Road / Gold, 500m Track

Guangzhou Asian Games: Gold medal, 300m / Gold medal, 500m


World Roller Speed Skating Championships: Bronze, 200m Road


Winter Universiade: Bronze, 1000m Long Track


Winter Universiade: Bronze, 500m Long Track

Asian Roller Skating Championships: Gold, 500m (new meet record)

Citizens Sports Games: Gold, 300m Roller Skating / Gold, 500m Roller Skating


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