Best Asian American athletes in 2014

Northwest Asian Weekly (By Jason Cruz)

It was another stellar year for API sports.

It started off with Doug Baldwin and the Seattle Seahawks bringing home the team’s first ever Super Bowl and a parade that seemingly the whole city of Seattle came to see.

The Winter Olympics were a bit of a disappointment for Asian Americans. Mirai Nagusa was denied making the U.S. women’s figure skating team despite making the top three.

J.R. Celski earned a Silver medal in the men’s Short Track 5000-meter relay but failed to medal in any of the three individual events he competed in.

Julie Chu, the first Asian American woman to play for the U.S. women’s ice hockey team ended her career with a Silver medal for the U.S. team. However, her quest for Gold was thwarted just three minutes before the end of the Gold Medal Game against Canada. With the U.S. up 2-0, Canada made a furious comeback and scored two goals in three minutes to send the game into overtime where Team Canada scored another goal for the Gold. Chu played in an unprecedented four Olympics and was the U.S. Olympic team’s Flag Bearer for the closing ceremonies.

In April, Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring and avenged a controversial loss to Tim Bradley by winning a convincing unanimous decision.

The World Cup was held in Brazil in June and the two Asian nations competing, South Korea and Japan, did not fare well. Both were eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

Also in June, Michelle Wie won her first major golf championship with a win at the U.S. Women’s Open. At the same tournament, 11-year-old Lucy Li became the youngest qualifier in the U.S. Women’s Open.

University of Washington men’s golf team member Cheng-Tsung Pan played in the British Open in July. The UW junior earned the spot by tying for second at a qualifying event in Thailand. This fall, Pan decided to turn pro.

The U.S. Tennis Open featured great runs by 24-year-old Japanese star Kei Nishikori and China’s Peng Shuai.

Nishikori, who was coached by Chinese American Michael Chang, made it all the way to the men’s final before losing to Milos Raonic.

Shuai made a surprising run to the semifinals where she had to retire (forfeit) due to continued leg cramps.

Absent from the women’s side of the tournament was Li Na who announced her retirement in September.

In October, Apolo Ohno finished the famed Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.

November saw Manny Pacquiao’s return to the ring as he destroyed Chris Algieri. Pacquiao’s next opponent…Floyd Mayweather?

In December, the University of Oregon’s Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy, college football’s biggest individual award.
Mariota becomes the first Asian Pacific Islander to win the trophy.

And without further ado, here are the top 10 API athletes of 2014:

10. Harley Kirsch

Kirsch, who is part Korean, was the quarterback for the Eastside Catholic High School team that defeated the vaunted Bellevue High School football team to win the Washington state class 3A football championship. Located in Sammamish, Washington, the school ended Bellevue’s 67 game winning streak. Kirsch is only a junior and will return next season to lead Eastside Catholic.

9. Amelia Andrilenas

The junior gymnast at Juanita High School qualified for the state meet and placed first, second, and fourth in all-around meets during the 2013-2014 season.

For the outsider, the most astonishing thing about the 4’11” gymnast is that she has only one hand. Andrilenas, who was adopted from China, took up gymnastics at an early age and has excelled since.

8. Jeremy Lin

Lin was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason to complement Kobe Bryant. So far, Lin has not done much to help Kobe. He’s averaging just 10 points for the currently 9 win and 22 loss Lakers. He did score a season high 21 points in the Lakers’ first win. While he is far-removed from the days of New York and Linsanity, he still is a contributing member of the Lakers who hope to rebuild.

7. Tim Lincecum

It seems that every other year Lincecum and his San Francisco Giants seem to win a World Series. The Giants won baseball’s World Series this year making it three times in the past five years that the team has won the title. Lincecum, who is a Washington native and part Filipino, pitched his second-career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres in June. He also picked up his 100th career win this past September. Although Lincecum played sparingly in the World Series, he picks up his third ring.

6. Chloe Kim

At only 14, Kim was too young to compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics but the snowboarder did earn silver in the “superpipe” at this year’s Winter X Games. Look for the Korean American to make the next team in the 2018 Winter Olympics which are in her parents’ home country of South Korea.

5. Julie Chu

A pioneer in the field of women’s hockey as Chu was the first Asian American to be on the women’s team and the first to play in four Olympics. She also starred in a commercial with her mother shown during the Winter Olympics.

4. Mirai Nagusa

The 21-year-old Los Angeles native was denied a spot on the 2014 Winter Olympics women’s figure skating team despite winning the Bronze medal at the U.S. Championships. Usually, the top three are awarded spots on the Olympic team. However, the U.S. Figure Skating committee determined that Ashley Wagner, the fourth place finisher make the team based on Wagner’s stronger international record. Although it was reported that Nagusa would appeal the decision, she later decided not to pursue it.

3. Apolo Ohno

The Olympic medalist is keeping busy in retirement. Last year he ran the New York Marathon. This year, he has completed one of the most grueling events out there, the Kona Ironman Triathlon. Ohno finished in 9 hours, 52 minutes and 27 seconds. What will he do next?

2. Marcus Mariota

The Oregon Duck won the Heisman Trophy in December and leads his team into the first College Football Playoff. Mariota is certain to be a top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

1. Doug Baldwin

It’s pretty easy to pick Baldwin as he was a key part of the Seahawks run to the Super Bowl last year and remains one of Russell Wilson’s most valuable receivers. Hopefully, we’ll see Baldwin (and the rest of the Seahawks) with another Super Bowl ring in 2015.



Julie Chu to carry US flag at Olympic closing ceremony

AsAm News:

Four-time Olympic medalist Julie Chu will carry the flag in the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, according to the Bleacher Report.

Chu is the forward on Team USA’s women’s hockey team and has won three silvers and a bronze.

The announcement from the US Olympic Committee was made just one day after Team USA lost to its nemesis Team Canada in a 3-2 overtime defeat.

Chu also won the silver with Team USA in 2002 and 2010 and the bronze in 2006.

She is the first Asian American to make Team USA’s women’s hockey team and the first Asian American ever to be a flag bearer for the United States at the Olympics.

She just brings experience,” said U.S. coach Katey Stone, who was also Chu’s coach at Harvard. “She’s in the right place at the right time, ready to make plays. She over communicates with her teammates. She helps them stay calmer on so many levels. She’s a caring soul. We wouldn’t be here without her.”

Check out this link:

Julie Chu to carry US flag at Olympic closing ceremony


Meet U.S. Ice Hockey Player Julie Chu

Team USA‘s Julie Chu is the first Asian American woman to play for the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team. She knows how important it is to stay grounded on and off the rink. Follow this veteran ice hockey star as she prepares for Sochi, her fourth Olympic Games.

Chu has competed and medaled in the past three Olympics. She earned a silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake Games, a bronze in Torino in 2006 and another silver in the 2010 Vancouver games. This week, Chu, alongside her talented teammates, will be fighting for gold.


Bounty Commercial featuring Olympic medalist Julie Chu of the U.S. women’s ice hockey team

Check out this cool commercial for Bounty, featuring Olympic medalist Julie Chu of the U.S. women’s ice hockey team… and her mom. The three-time Olympian returns to the squad to represent the United States next month at Sochi, no doubt looking for a gold medal to go with the two silvers and a bronze she’s already collected. But first, she’s got to tell you about those super-absorbent sheets of Bounty.


Asian American Athletes in Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

The 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be held Feb. 7-23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. This marks the first time that the Russian Federation will have hosted the Winter Games – the Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow. Sochi, the host city, has a population of 400,000 and is located in the third largest region in Russia – Krasnodar.

Team USA athletes will compete in the following sports at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi:

  • Biathlon
  • Bobsled
  • Curling
  • Figure skating – ice dance, pairs, singles (men’s and ladies), team
  • Ice hockey
  • Luge
  • Short track speedskating
  • Skeleton
  • Skiing – alpine, cross country, freestyle, jumping/Nordic combined
  • Snowboarding
  • Speedskating

The Games will be organized in two clusters: a coastal cluster for ice events in Sochi, and a mountain cluster in the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains. This will make it one of the most compact Games ever, with approximately 30 minutes travel time from the coastal to mountain cluster.

The Sochi Olympic Park will be built along the Black Sea coast in the Imeretinskaya Valley, where all the ice venues such as the Bolshoi Ice Palace, the Maly Ice Palace, the Olympic Oval, the Sochi Olympic Skating Centre, the Olympic Curling Centre, the Central Stadium, the Main Olympic Village and the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre, will be built anew for the 2014 Games.

The mountain cluster in Krasnaya Polyana will be home to all the skiing and sliding sports. There will also be a sub-media center in the mountain cluster.

To learn more about the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the Organizing Committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi, visit:

Our fabulous Asian Americans representing #TEAMUSA in Sochi are:

Julie Chu

Julie Chu is an ice hockey forward who has earned three Olympic medals (Salt Lake City 2002 – silver; Torino 2006 – bronze; Vancouver 2010 – silver) and is seeking her first gold in Sochi. Playing with the U.S. women’s national team since 2000, Chu has earned four world championship titles and three world silver medals. She is also currently serving as an assistant coach to the Union College women’s ice hockey team.

Julie Chu is a pioneer of women’s hockey in the United States. Chu’s passion for the sport and commitment to consistently doing “the little everyday” things have helped her become one of the longest serving players in U.S. Women’s National Team History.

Maia and Alex Shibutani

Maia and Alex Shibutani are a sibling ice dance team. They are the 2011 World bronze medalists, the U.S. silver medalists in 2011 and 2012, and bronze medalists in 2013. Their competitive career started in 2005 with a silver medal in juvenile ice dance at the U.S. Junior Championships during their very first year competing in the sport. The following two seasons they captured back-to-back U.S. National titles competing at the next successive levels – Intermediate (2006) and Novice levels (2007). Their competitive career at the Junior level was highlighted by a silver medal at the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, and a third U.S. National title, winning the gold medal at the Junior level in 2010.

As competitors at the senior level since the 2010-2011 season, Maia and Alex have been 3-time medalists at the U.S. Championships, and made a historic debut during their rookie season, becoming the first ice dance team to medal at both of their Grand Prix events and the first U.S. Ice Dance team to medal during their debut at the World Championships (2011).
In August, 2012 Maia and Alex launched their official YouTube channel “ShibSibs” Productions. Their channel includes original videos which Maia and Alex have filmed, directed and edited – which have thus far garnered over 810,000 views.

J.R. Celski

Born in Monterey, California, J.R. Celski is half Filipino and half Polish. He was raised in a loving family from Federal Way, WA alongside two brothers, Chris and David. At the age of 14, J.R. moved to Long Beach, CA at to pursue Olympic Dream. In 2008, he graduated from Lakewood High School and was accepted to attend the University of California, Berkeley. He put school on hold to skate full time. At the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, J.R. won 2 bronze medals. As one of his interests, J.R. started a production company in 2010 called M.A.D. Northwest that’s producing a film entitled “The Otherside” focusing on the Seattle Hip Hop Scene.

J.R. Celski’s quest to become a two-time Olympian will get going Friday at the 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials — Short Track Speedskating. We’re looking forward to it!

For a full rundown of schedules, athlete videos, Olympic protocols and more, please visit or

As a reminder, you can watch the first competitions of the Games on NBC starting February 6th, even though the opening ceremonies are February 7th and run through February 23rd. The Paralympics are two weeks later in Sochi March 7-16.

Check out this link:

Asian American Athletes in Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games