Lee Lai Shan
|Competitor for Hong Kong|
|1996 Atlanta||Board (Mistral)|
|1990 Beijing||Board (Mistral)|
|1994 Hiroshima||Board (Mistral)|
|1993 Kashiwazaki||Board (Mistral)|
|1996 Haifa||Board (Mistral)|
|1995 Port Elizabeth||Board (Mistral)|
|Competitor for Hong Kong[note 1]|
|1998 Bangkok||Board (Mistral)|
|2002 Busan||Board (Mistral)|
|1997 Fremantle||Board (Mistral)|
|2001 Varkiza||Board (Mistral)|
|1998 Brest||Board (Mistral)|
|2000 Mar del Plata||Board (Mistral)|
Lee Lai-Shan MBE BBS (Chinese: 李麗珊; Jyutping: lei5 lai6 saan1) (born in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 5 September 1970) is a former world champion and Olympic gold medal-winning professional windsurfer from Hong Kong. She is the only athlete to win an Olympic medal representing Hong Kong, not as part of China. Since 1997, Hong Kong has been stipulated to append the word "China" after its name in all Olympic events.
Lee Lai-Shan, popularly known as "San San", was born in Cheung Chau and started windsurfing aged 12. She began to take part in windsurfing competitions at the age of 17 and joined the Hong Kong team at 19. Over the years, Lee won many international competitions, including the first-ever Olympic gold medal for Hong Kong, in the women's mistral boardsailing class, at the 1996 Olympics and the first champion in the Asian Games representing Hong Kong (British Colony).
Between 1952 and 1995, Hong Kong had never been able to win any medals at the Olympic Games. Lee Lai-Shan's victory at the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympics changed all this and added a glorious chapter to the region's 44-year Olympic history. Notably, the 1996 Summer Olympics was the last international sporting event that Hong Kong participated in as a British colony, making Lee's medal the first and last medal that the Hong Kong team (not Hong Kong, China) won. It was at that time Lee famously declared to the media:
|“||Hong Kong athletes are not rubbish!||”|
After the Games she became a student of sports management at Australia's University of Canberra in 1996. She was the first Hong Kong athlete to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in social sciences by The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Lee became a recipient of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award” and the Bronze Bauhinia Star Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the international sports scene. There is a monument resembling a windsurf board and mast erected in her honour near the beachfront at Cheung Chau.
In 2008, she was the first person to carry the Olympic torch in the torch relay leg in Hong Kong. She also was the final torchbearer in 2008 Summer Olympics sailing opening ceremony at Qingdao International Marina.
- 1990 Beijing Asian Games - 2nd
- 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games - 11th
- 1993 World Championships - 1st
- 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games - 2nd
- 1995 World Championships - 3rd
- 1996 World Championships - 2nd
- 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games - 1st
- 1997 World Championships - 1st
- 1998 Bangkok Asian Games - 1st
- 2000 Sydney Olympic Games - 6th Mistral
- 2001 World Championships - 1st
- 2001 National Games - 1st Mistral
- 2002 Busan Asian Games - 1st
- 2004 Athens Olympic Games - 4th Mistral
- 1994 - Named Best Athlete of Asia
- 1995-1996 & 1999-2000 - Named one of Hong Kong Sports Stars of the Year for four times
- 1995 - Selected Best Athlete in Hong Kong for 1994
- 1998 - Voted one of Hong Kong Top Ten Athletes for 1988-1998 by Hong Kong Sports Press Association
- 1999 - Selected one of China's Top Ten Athletes for 1998
- 1999 - Awarded Special Prize in the "Best Athletes of the Century" selection jointly organized by the Chinese Olympic Committee, Henry Fok Foundation and China Sports Press Association
She married longtime partner Wong Tak-Sum (黃德森) (known in English as Sam Wong), who has also represented Hong Kong internationally in windsurfing, and gave birth to a daughter, Haylie Wong (黃希皚), in August 2005, and to a second daughter in August 2007. This was one of the reasons for her to take a break from competition, though she has not ruled out competing altogether. In 2008, she was involved in the Summer Olympics again when she was one of the presenting team for ATV, in addition to commentating at its sailing event.
In 2006, she was featured in a Hang Seng Bank advertisement, in which she said the cost of raising a child in Hong Kong will be HK$4 million (US$510,000). It has caused a slight controversy in Hong Kong as most people do not think it will actually cost that much, and most think that Hang Seng Bank exaggerated the figures.
- Local Heroes No 29: Lee Lai-shan: Wind in gold medallist's sails
- Girl with Midas touch
- Savannah's First Medals