Thu, Aug 09, 2012 - Page 5 News List

FEATURE: Inspired by Lin, officials proclaim love of sports

By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

After Jeremy Lin (林書豪), one of only a few Asian-Americans to achieve NBA success, visited Taiwan over the weekend and drove the country into a sports frenzy, several Cabinet members and high-ranking officials made public their love for the sports that have helped them stay in shape.

“Like Jeremy Lin, I am also a basketball enthusiast who plays point guard,” Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) wrote on the “knowing about the premier” section of the Executive Yuan’s Web Site for children.

Chen’s most frequent form of exercise is walking his dog, he wrote, adding that the time he spends keeping his pet healthy also affords him a rare chance to quietly observe his surroundings to seek inspiration.

Vice Premier Jiang Yi-hua (江宜樺) wrote on the Web site that his favorite sport is swimming.

Other Cabinet members fond of swimming include Department of Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達), Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), Coast Guard Administration Minister Wang Jinn-wang (王進旺) and Sports Affairs Council Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡).

In addition to being a swimming enthusiast, Tai said she is also an amateur diabolo player, jogger and triathlete, which she said makes her “challenge and know [herself], while learning from others.”

Also popular among high-ranking officials is tennis, a favorite of Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源), and racewalking, which is enjoyed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) and Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱).

“[Fitness walking is a sort of sport that] whether it is at dawn or at dusk, up in the mountains or at the beach, I can do it simply by putting on my sports shoes and it also allows me to enjoy some quality time meditating on various issues,” Yang said.

Racewalking is also the favorite exercise of renowned financier and central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南), who said he often speedwalks at Taipei’s Da-an Forest Park as well as Yangmingshan National Park “as a way of strengthening physical health and getting close to nature.”

Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) described his favorite physical activity as playing basketball, soccer or baseball with his children on a lawn in his community.

“However, in light of my prolonged working hours, I can now only ‘cycle at home,’” Chiang said, referring to his stationary bicycle.

Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said she is also partial to cycling, while Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Sun Ta-chuan (孫大川) said he enjoys watching the ocean.

Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Shih Su-mei (石素梅) said she finds strolling is the most enjoyable kind of sport, because she can just “freely wander the streets without pressure.”

Veterans Affairs Commission Minister Tseng Jing-ling (曾金陵) enjoys taking walks in the early morning, while Minister of Environmental Protection Stephen Shen (沈世宏) said he prefers climbing up a gentle slope.

Meanwhile, several high-ranking government officials, including Labor Affairs Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄), Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) and Atomic Energy Council Minister Tsai Chuen-horng (蔡春鴻), said they like mountain climbing.

“I have climbed to the top of Yushan in Chiayi County, which is the highest mountain in Taiwan,” Jennifer Wang said.

Ball games also go down well among officials, with Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘), Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基), Central Election Commission Chairperson Chang Po-ya (張博雅) and Executive Yuan spokesperson Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) all fond of table tennis and Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission Minister Wu Ying-yih (吳英毅) being partial to golf.

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