Colvin Wang, a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School and a resident of Fairfax, is headed to Beijing, China this summer to compete in the Olympic Games in the sport of Wushu. Wushu or Kungfu, as it is sometimes referred to, is the national sport of China, and while not an official Olympic sport, it is therefore a part of this year’s Olympics. Wang will stay in the Olympic village and compete in a separate competition.
"Every time I tell someone I have to explain how it’s not official Olympics and I don’t even know what it is really," said Wang. "Also, when I tell them I’m going for Wushu they don’t even know what it is or if they do they’re like, ‘Oh, Jackie Chan,’ that’s so fake."
Wang began studying Wushu when he was 6 and now trains 17 hours a week, 2 1/2 hours per day. He will compete in the spear and straight sword competition, as one of six members of the U.S. Olympic team. During the World Wushu Championships, Wang placed fourth, however the Chinese were not present. Wang hopes that the inclusion of Wushu this year will help the sport to gain international notoriety.
"I’m not nervous, I’ll probably be nervous when I get there, because competitions are always like that," said Wang. "I’m excited to compete, showing off is pretty cool." Wang plays down his achievements. He dislikes it when the other students mention it at school.
Since Wang began Wushu, he has attended O-Mei Wushu Center in Merrifield and has been coached by Xiaolin Lu. "From 6-years-old at the beginning level he was winning, he was always competing at the adult level, first third then first eventually," said Lu. "Even with losses he kept trying. Every year, he’s been the champion for his levels. He never says he's tired. If I say it’s not good, he does it again. He’s really good at concentrating. He’s different from other students in that he’s very self motivated. If I tell him to do it once, he’ll do it three times. He’s always thinking about technique."
Are you excited to be going to the Olympics?
Wang: I’m not excited that much, what is there to be excited about? One reason I’m not excited is I’m not going to win. I’m excited to meet all the other athletes; I’m excited to meet the other Wushu athletes, because I admire them.
How do you feel about going to the Olympics?
I’m happy to be going, it makes me special, not many people go to the Olympics in their lives. A little bit of fame is pretty nice. It makes you kind of proud of yourself when people know you for your accomplishments who you don’t know.
How do you balance your classes at Thomas Jefferson High School with your training schedule?
I do the least I can do to get by, like in Biology. I have a 93.5 and that’s an A it doesn’t matter if you have a 99 or a 93.5 it’s all an A.
What is your favorite class at school?
I like history because the teacher’s good, but I don’t like history. I like computer science.
What is your favorite restaurant?
The Cheesecake Factory, their steak and of course the cheesecake, they’re all good.
What is your favorite type of music? Favorite artist?
Rap or Techno, I would say Eminem but is he even around anymore?