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Alex Fong Lik Sun
Record-breaker seeks breakthrough

By Lilian Goh

Last summer, because of a teenage television show, Mr. Alex Fong Lik Sun, representative of the Hong Kong Swimming Team, began to draw the public’s attention.

This summer, he broke two Hong Kong swimming records at the Olympic Games.

Suddenly, the media swamped his life.

Mr. Fong said that he is not proud of his fame, but he admitted that some have told him he is big-headed.

“Sometimes I think they don’t understand me,” he said.

Though Mr. Fong always achieves good times in the pool, he denies that he is as smart as people think.

“I do not really think I am smart. Sometimes even when I have achieved a good time, I know that I can swim faster in fact.”

Fong teammate Janet Wu Ka Wing said Mr. Fong has not changed in spite of of his increasing popularity.

“We have been friends for about 4 years,” said Miss Wu. “I don’t see any difference in Alex. He is still the nice guy I’ve always known.

“He is a very diligent swimmer. He is demanding of himself,” she said.

Mr. Fong is not easily satisfied.

“There is still a big gap between other Asian swimmers and me,” he explained.

“I set my goal on Asian competitions. I hope to win medals for Hong Kong in the Asian Games.”

Mr. Fong likes playing basketball and snooker apart from swimming.

Due to the harsh training schedule, Mr. Fong has little time to gather with his friends. He has to spend at least 2 hours training every day.

“I won’t join them if they are staying out overnight. I never think training is a sacrifice. It is worthwhile.”

Before competitions, Mr. Fong and his teammates encourage each other.

However, competition among them is very keen.

“There are other prominent athletes in Hong Kong,” he said. “Therefore, competition for funding or scholarships among top athletes is especially intense.”

Mr. Fong is concerned about the development of sports in Hong Kong.

He pointed out that the government provides too little support to local athletes.

“One of the reasons I accept interviews is that I want to promote local sports,” he said. “I think this is my responsibility.”

He also attends activities like those promoting Hong Kong’s bid for the 2006 Asian Games. 

“Being an athlete is not regarded as a full time profession in Hong Kong,” he said. “There is a lack of professional training and facilities.”

In his view, parents in Hong Kong seldom encourage their children to take sports seriously.

“If the government implemented a system similar to that in the United States, which balances studies and sports for athletes, more parents would let their children develop a sports career.”

Mr. Fong said that he is fortunate to have very supportive parents.

“My mum keeps the house very cosy so I am very comfortable at home,” he said.

“My dad often drives me to the South China Athletic Association, where I train, so as to save time. I am thankful to them.”

Swimmers are regarded as lucky in the sense that when they retire, they can be swimming coaches.

Many parents want their children to learn to swim.

“Few parents consider employing retired runners to teach their children running, for instance,” said Mr. Fong.

To Mr. Fong, swimming is a practice rather than a game.

“In Hong Kong, many journalists ask me how long I have ‘played’ swimming.

“In the mainland, journalists would ask me how long I have been ‘trained’,” he explained.

He had high praise for the sports culture in Australia during the Olympic Games.

“When they learn that you are an athlete, they show respect to you.”

Though he said that overseas training might help him develop his career better, he does not regret staying in Hong Kong.

“I was born and brought up here,” said Mr. Fong. “It’s my home.”

He stays here not because he wants to be an actor, as most people think.

“I do have some interest in acting; however, I want to concentrate on studies and swimming at the moment,” he said.

Mr. Fong likes swimming because it gives him a sense of satisfaction.

“When you see that you are continually improving, you feel very contented,” said Mr. Fong.

Having been to  numerous international tournaments, Mr. Fong has also learned how to handle stress.

“Training helps me to be determined, self-disciplined and diligent,” he added.

He said these were learnt from his swimming coach, Mr. Zhang Di Young.

In Mr. Fong’s eyes, Mr. Zhang is not only his coach, but also a good friend.

“He is very kind and seldom gets angry,” said Mr. Fong. “But he does demand a bit more of me than the others.

“He cares a lot about me too. He always reminds me to get enough rest.”

In the future, Mr. Fong hopes that he will keep on swimming at least till he graduates from the university.

After retiring from sports, he might do business or set up a swimming association.

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Dionne Yuen



‘When you see that you are continually improving, you feel very contented.’











Dionne Yuen

Alex Fong says that he is not proud of his fame.


















Dionne Yuen

The competition between Mr. Fong (middle) and his teammates (left and right) is keen.