Sidney Chu, B.S. ‘21, will represent Hong Kong in short track speed skating at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
By Kristen Mitchell
George Washington University alumnus Sidney Chu, B.S. ‘21, is set to fulfill his lifelong dream of competing on the Olympic stage when he steps onto the ice in Beijing next month. The speed skater will represent Hong Kong in the 500-meter race—a decade of hard work culminating in an event he’ll finish in less than 60 seconds.
Chu will compete on Feb. 11. If he finishes among the top eight athletes, he will advance to the final race on Feb. 14 with medals on the line. The 22-year-old is focused on preparing both physically and mentally to meet the moment as the competition grows near.
“There is a lot of pressure to perform well,” he said. “When I'm in my best physical condition, when I'm in my best mental condition, when I'm at the line and I feel in the moment and focused on winning, I think I'll be able to achieve a result that I'll be happy with at the Olympics. If I can perform my best, results will come naturally.”
Having the opportunity to compete alongside some of the top names in short track speed skating—athletes who inspired him to take up the sport—is indescribable, he said.
Chu grew up playing hockey with his friends in Los Angeles, but fell in love with speed skating after his first introductory lesson at age 11. He began training with the Hong Kong national team when he moved to the city during high school. He hoped to make it to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but was sidelined with an injury three months before Olympic trials.
Chu has trained at the Potomac Speedskating Club throughout his time at GW. The DMV has become a hotspot for speed skating athletes over the past few decades, and the opportunity to train with elite coaches and athletes was a driving factor in Chu’s decision to come to the university. Chu represented GW and Hong Kong in the 2019 International Sports Federation World Winter University Games, and since graduating in the spring, he’s increased his training time from four to five hours a day to up to 10.
Chu and his teammates competed on the world cup circuit to secure a spot for Hong Kong at the Olympic Games. Chu crossed the globe over the past few months in pursuit of his goal, racing in China, Japan, Hungary, France and the Netherlands, where he secured much needed international competition experience that was impossible during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chu was selected by the Hong Kong national team to fill that spot, punching his ticket to the Olympic competition.
“I'm incredibly honored,” he said. “We have such good camaraderie on our team that if any one of us went, we'd be fully supportive of that person.”
Chu is looking forward to living in the Olympic village, meeting other athletes and getting as much ice time as possible when he gets to Beijing.
As the games approach, he has been training in Hong Kong, where to access the only internationally sized ice rink requires a 30-minute boat ride to another island. Speed skating remains a largely unknown sport in Hong Kong, which is devoid of snow and ice. The team is focused on promoting the sport and encouraging the next generation of athletes, Chu said.
The Hong Kong Olympic delegation will be composed of three athletes—Chu and two alpine skiers. GW Monumental Alumna and three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, B.S. '06, M.T.A. '11, HON '18, will represent the United States in bobsled and monobob at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.