Fri, Aug 01, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Chen praises star baseball player for pitching excellence

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) lauded Aboriginal baseball pitcher Tsao Chin-hui (曹錦輝) in the latest issue of his newspaper yesterday.

"When the news of Tsao Chin-hui becoming the first Taiwanese pitcher to win a game in Major League Baseball finally came out, A-bian [Chen] and all Taiwanese people shared his glory because finally baseball, Taiwan's national sport, is taking its place in the best league in the world," Chen wrote.

"Tsao Chin-hui, the youngster from the Amis tribe in the Kuangfu Township in Hualien with outstanding physical qualities and a high demand of himself, has held on to the Taiwanese spirit of `even braver after the bones are broken' after the frustration he had two years ago with his serious elbow injury. Now he has helped Taiwan to shine again on the world stage."

Chen said that Tsao reminded him of other acclaimed Aborigines, such as Yang Chuan-kuang (楊傳廣), the first Taiwanese to win a gold medal at the Olympics, and Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), the popular local singer better known as A-mei (阿妹). Chen said Aborigines have often been ignored in the past, but their talents and achievement in sport, music, arts and culture cannot be overlooked.

Chen said Aborigines are the roots of Taiwan and the representation of the Taiwanese spirit.

"It's exactly because of the Aborigine's optimism and confidence and the pluralism resulting from the coming together of different cultures that so many talented, creative and hard-working `sons of Taiwan' are produced. With everyone's effort, Taiwan can continue to shine on the international stage."

Tsao is slated to start again against the Cincinnati Reds today.

Chen's praise was in sharp contrast to the anti-bribery campaign in Hualien.

The image of the Aborigines has been dented since traditional pork-sharing ceremony's have been linked to bribery, thus angering the Aboriginal community. Chen's positive comments on Aborigines' achievement may help smooth tensions.

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