Chloe Kim’s Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Box -Sold Out in 7 Hours!

I first heard that Olympic Gold medalist in halfpipe snowboarding Chloe Kim made the cover of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes while watching an interview with her on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and then later, finding the press release:

“To celebrate Chloe Kim’s Gold Medal win with Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Kellogg’s® has announced that she will be featured on Gold Medal edition boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®. Boxes are available in limited quantities for a short time only on KelloggsFamilyRewards.com.

The Gold Medal Edition Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box is available on KelloggsFamilyRewards.com, while supplies last. Fans can visit KelloggsFamilyRewards.com for information about how to become a member and order their very own collectible box.”

But I was disappointed to not only learn that this special edition box was only available online, but was already sold out:

“On Wednesday night, the Chloe Kim “Gold Medal” box was announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and became available online. It sold out in seven hours, according to Sam Minardi, director of brand marketing at Kellogg Company. “That is a record,” Minardi said in an email.”

I wonder why Kellogg decided to only make this available online! I mean, Nathan Chen’s box made it into retail, and he didn’t even medal (though he was expected to …)

Asian American Commercial Watch: Minute Maid’s #ShibSibs Journey – Maia and Alex Shibutani

https://youtu.be/sCxTokW3310

Congratulations to brother-and-sister duo Maia and Alex Shibutani on winning the Bronze in the 2018 Winter Olympics for Ice Dancing. No doubt, if you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics, you’ve seen this ad, which really doesn’t seem like an ad, highlighting the sibilings’ journey to the Olympics:

“Minute Maid is proud to support Maia and Alex Shibutani on their journey to The Olympic Winter Games. The siblings and teammates know a thing or two about healthy competition, but they also know that the best moments – both on and off the rink – are often shared. Cheers to the #ShibSibs

I had noticed recently that the Shib Sibs had posted a YouTube video seeing for themselves for the first time on some Minute Maid cartons:

So I wound up going to my local grocery store to check out the Minute Maid cartons. However, I could only find three out of the four that they mentioned:

I wonder what the 4th carton is?!?

Also, I had noticed that Intel was one of their sponsors as well, when I noticed on Facebook, Intel congratulating them:

I knew that Intel was an Olympic sponsor, given that they powered the Drone exhibition during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.But I didn’t know that Intel had sponsored any athletes. But a quick Google search came across this press release listing their sponsored Intel athletes (which I thought was kind of an oxymoron …):

  • Ayumu Hirano – Japanese snowboarding phenom and silver medalist in halfpipe at the
    Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.
  • Fan Kexin – Chinese short track speedskater and silver medalist in the 1,000 meter at the
    Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.
  • Hannah Brandt – Forward on the U.S. women’s Ice Hockey Team and University of Minnesota’s
    all-time points leader.
  • Marissa Brandt – South Korean ice hockey defender and former star at Gustavus Adolphus
    College.
  • Maia and Alex Shibutani – U.S. ice dancing team and current two-time U.S. champions.

It’s interesting that Intel sponsors non-U.S. athletes, but then again, they are a global company with global customers.

Again, congrats to the Shibutanis on winning the Bronze!

Asian American Commercial Watch: Visa’s Real Life Events & Chloe Kim

https://youtu.be/yDTYvtUc8Qc

I caught this Visa commercial while watching the Olympics, which is no surprise since Visa is an Olympic sponsor and was pleasantly surprised to see Chloe Kim towards the end of the commercial:

You know faster is better. We’ve got a faster way to pay.   You don’t have to be an Olympic snowboarder like Chloe Kim to shave seconds off your time at checkout. Tap to pay like a champion with your contactless Visa card where you see the Contactless Symbol. #PyeongChang2018 #TeamVisa

And even before the Olympics started, I’ve seen Visa highlight Chloe Kim in some web ads:

I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of Chloe Kim now that she’s an Olympic Gold winner in the halfpipe! Congrats again Chloe – hope to meet you one day!

Maia & Alex Shibutani Siblings and Madison Chock Make 2018 U.S. Olympic Ice Dance Team

The Japanese American dynamic duo brother & sister siblings Maia & Alex Shibutani (also known as the Shib Sibs), as well as Madison Chock (and her ice dance partner and Evan Bates) made the 2018 U.S. Olympic Ice Dance Figure Skating Team, as announced this past Sunday during a press conference and press release:

“U.S. Figure Skating announced today the ice dance teams who will compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 as part of the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team.

The ice dance team is Madison Chock and Evan BatesMadison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates are the 2018 U.S. bronze medalists. They are the 2015 U.S. champions, 2016 World bronze medalists and placed eighth at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. After winning silver at both of their Grand Prix assignments this season, they qualified for their fourth-straight Grand Prix Final.

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani are two-time U.S. champions. They topped the podium at both of their Grand Prix assignments this season before earning bronze at the Grand Prix Final. They are the 2017 World bronze medalists, 2016 World silver medalists, and placed ninth at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.”

Photo by 8Asians

Earlier that day, I got to see Maia & Alex Shibutani perform, and they were favored to win the Gold for the 2018 U.S. Championships (often referred to as “Nationals”) for Ice Dance, but had a minor hiccup in their free dance routine which cost them dearly, when Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue performed flawlessly, wining in total points (short dance + free dance) 197.12 vs. the Shibutani’s 196.93, a difference of just .19 points!

Maia & Alex Shibutani were amazing. I remember seeing others post about them on Facebook, and you should take a look at yourself at how talented they are.

https://youtu.be/Ny79P7iiHt0

This will be their *second* trip to the Olympics, as they competed also in 2014. Amazing.

Additionally, Asian American Madison Chock and her ice dancing partner Evan Bates made the team as well, and I also had the opportunity to see them perform for the free skate routine.

Photo by 8Asians

From Wikipedia, Chock’s background is: “She is of Chinese-Hawaiian descent on her father’s side, and German, English, Irish, French, and Dutch descent on her mother Barbara Hall’s side.” Chock doesn’t sound like a Chinese last name to me, but perhaps it was anglicized non-traditionally.

2018 U.S. Championships Ice Dancing Press Conference

Congratulations to all who made the Olympic team!

Should Yuna Kim Have Won Gold in Sochi?

140220231209-kim-sotnikova

In a shocking turn not even the live news announcers fully expected, Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova took home the gold medal in ladies figure skating (her country’s first), upsetting defending gold-medalist South Korea’s Yuna Kim at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Italy’s Carolina Kostner, a veteran in the sport, took home the bronze.

The internet, as always, is ablaze in the controversy. Even the New York Times (and Kurt Browning) is confused. Essentially, it all comes down to the math of the ever-confusing scoring system (oh for the days of the perfect 6.0).  The move-by-move breakdown shows where each skater gained points over the other, with Sotnikova gaining a clear edge with technical. Yet many feel she was out-skated by Kim. In my extremely non-expert opinion, Kim is a more beautiful skater in terms of artistry and grace. Both programs were near flawless, and in a sport rife with technical ambition to raise the number of triples and push for higher, faster jumps, it’s hard to know exactly what happened. Sotnikova certainly got a boost from the home crowd and did not break under what must have been immense pressure and expectations. Still, the question remains: Should Yuna Have Won?

Some accusations of controversy stem from the anonymous judging system. And that one of the judges had recently been suspended for trying to fix and event at the Winter Olympics over a decade ago and that another is married to the head of the Russian figure skating federation. A petition to investigate the judging on change.org has already reached more than 1.7 million signatures.

Kim, who announced her retirement after the free skate, has remained poised and accepting of her second-place finish: “The judges give points and I can’t do anything about that. I did all I wanted to do, like I wanted to do it…I did all I can.” A queen to the last, we salute you, Yuna.

Need more reading to help weed through the controversy?

Continue reading “Should Yuna Kim Have Won Gold in Sochi?”

#MiraiEarnedIt: Why the Snub Will Still Matter, Even After the Olympics Are Over

Mirai and an official photographer wipe tears off Ashley's face at Nationals (Photo credit: Washington Post)
Mirai and an official photographer wipe tears off Ashley’s face at Nationals (Photo credit: Washington Post)

By Eugene Hung

“Not being chosen to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Sochi and at the 2014 World Championships in Japan has been extremely disappointing to me, and it has been very difficult for me to process. … [It] was devastating and I remain confused by US Figure Skating’s decision.”

So said Mirai Nagasu via Facebook comments posted around 3 A.M. on January 30, breaking her long English-language media silence on the controversy we’ve followed for four weeks. (She had spoken briefly to Japanese network Fuji TV while at the Four Continents Championships in Taiwan.)

She’s not the only one who’s confused. Her numerous supporters, along with many journalists, longtime figure skating observers, and figure skating fans, have also been shaking their heads, trying to make sense of it all.

Of course, no one, least of all Mirai, is confused about how U.S. Figure Skating officials justified their decision to leave her off both the Olympic and World Championship teams. Her third-place finish at Nationals was never, according to U.S. Figure Skating’s rules, going to guarantee her a place on them. The decision was based on a comparison of each skater’s 2013-14 “body of work,” meaning each skater’s results in certain major competitions during that time period.

So on this, no one is confused; U.S. Figure Skating officials were operating within their rights when they left Mirai off those teams. The skating federation’s powerful International Committee Management Subcommittee (ICMS), the nine-member group that actually makes the selections, did indeed follow their rules, based on the letter of their law.

2014-02-20-MiraiNagasu
photo credit: nabechiko29 via photopin cc

You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got … (Crickets)
But did they follow the spirit of their law? Was their decision-making process truly fair and ethical? That’s the big question. And this is where things get confusing, because the big question raises many additional questions, none of which have answers yet. Questions like:

Continue reading “#MiraiEarnedIt: Why the Snub Will Still Matter, Even After the Olympics Are Over”

Korean Gymnast Arises from Poverty to Win Olympic Gold

From Korea Times: “Yang stood atop the podium after nailing an excellent pair of vaults including one judged to be the most difficult of the competition, which is even called ‘Yang Hak-seon’ after him. The three-twist front somersault was invented by the Korean and he is the only gymnast to currently execute it in the world. “As I was the last man to compete in the final, I planned to use the Yang Hak-seon when competitors posted more than 16.266 points,” he said. Yang took two big steps forward when he landed his first vault but the 7.4 difficulty rating _ two 10ths of a point higher than the second best competitor ― was enough to earn him 16.466. Then, he performed a 7.0 difficulty vault in his second effort to score 16.600 to bring the nation an elusive Olympic title.Who doesn’t love a heart warming story about an underdog achieving the ultimate victory?

Jeremy Lin’s New Role In Olympic Basketball

Although he did not play in the NBA playoffs, Jeremy Lin now has a role with USA Olympic Basketball, as a member of the USA Men’s Select Team.  TheSselect Team plays and trains against the US National Team that will represent the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics to help them get ready.  Other members of the select team include DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.  US National Team players like got Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love got their start on the select team.  The select team will train with the National Team at their camp in Las Vegas from July 6 through July 12.

 

Words of Wisdom from Skater Dr. Michelle Kwan

Last weekend, two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan was a commencement speaker at Southern Vermont College and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. She noted that she’s probably the only current student (at Tufts) who is also giving a graduation speech. Kwan has already achieved so much as a skater, but when she “retired” at age 28, she had to rethink what she wanted to do for the rest of her life after focusing so much on skating.

I thought her words of wisdom were truly that:

“I suppose this is a common mistake. Whether it’s winning a competition, finishing a degree, getting the right job, paying off a loan, or finding the perfect partner — we always imagine that at some point all the waiting, worrying and striving will finally be over. We expect some magic moment of arrival, when all the pieces settle permanently into place, and life can finally begin.  But I’m starting to realize, and maybe you are too, that things usually don’t turn out that way. Just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, and everything right where we want it, there’s always some new challenge to contend with. So even while we pursue our goals, we shouldn’t put off enjoying life, thinking happiness waits for us at some far-off destination. We should take life on its own terms, and look for happiness in the here and now.”

Given everything Kwan has accomplished, she’s still figuring out what to do with her life. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that even from those who “have it all” from the outside, there are struggles that we all have to deal with in each of our own ways. As I start to approach “middle age,” I found it always easy to look retrospectively what one should have or could have done – as well as  deal with things you had no control over. Today, Asian Americans, especially those raised by immigrant parents, are especially “goal driven” and in the process, miss enjoying the journey.

When I graduated from business school, Ted Turner was our commencement speaker. One of his pieces of advice was to set a goal so high so that it was unattainable, so that (as I interpreted it) you could always enjoy the journey. He spoke of how his father framed his entire life on becoming rich and making $1 million a year. When he reached that goal, he had no idea what to do next, was miserable and eventually killed himself  but putting a gun to his head. So when you think everyone has everything figured out, don’t be too surprised when you learn that even the most successful could be in the same boat as you.

Mirai Nagasu Joins the U.S. 2010 Olympic Women Figure Skating Team

Over the weekend, Arcadia, California native and sixteen year old Mirai Nagasu came in second place in the 2010 US Figure Skating Championship to secure a spot on the U.S. women’s figure skating team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Earlier in the week, Nagasu came in first during the short-program competition (see video). Ever since I was a kid and watched Dorothy Hamill skate, I’ve always enjoyed watching the sport. I’ll never forget when I got to see Michelle Kwan skate live in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics short program. She came in first at this event, later capturing the bronze overall.

Also over the weekend, The New York Times did an interesting story on the propensity of Asian American and Asian women to dominate the sport of figure skating:

“Eight of the 23 women scheduled to compete Saturday in the long program at the United States championships were Asian-Americans, who also excelled here among younger skaters… Without compulsory figures, skating became more like gymnastics. Jumping assumed a new urgency. Younger skaters could excel. The key to jumping is to leap high and spin quickly and tightly through two, three or four revolutions before returning to the ice. Asian skaters are often small and willowy, which can be an asset when jumping… Other cultural factors are also at play, coaches said. Discipline at home often transfers to discipline at the rink, Carroll said. Audrey Weisiger, a prominent Chinese-American coach, said: “A lot of Asian families really drive their kids, and I don’t mean in the car. They’re not allowed to be marginal.””

The article also mentions that former Olympians such as Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan have a lot to do with inspiring, especially Asian American women, to take up the sport. I’m sure that is the case and why I believe that Asian American role models outside of traditionally accepted passions, careers and vocations are important. Of course, the drive and expectations can have a negative effect as well – where Asian Americans (especially women), might feel put an inordinate amount of pressure on themselves.

Asians Dominate in Competitive Speed Skating

I’ll admit. I didn’t even know about this guy until some interview or something while I was flipping through channel surfing. I was thinking, dang… that guy has a unique name. Apolo? And he’s going to be at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I think that most people tend to not stray far from figure skating when it comes to that since everything else is a speed driven sport. At least I personally prefer to watch the X-Games over the Winter Olympics most of the time.

Amusingly, if you look the guy up, one of the first search references that comes up after the name is “Apolo Ohno girlfriend”. Guess there are a lot of young women out there finding the guy pretty cute. Another tidbit I picked up was that he won the 2007 “Dancing with the Stars”. Another show that doesn’t interest me since I hate to break it to ya, but Dr. Dreamy is on at the same time.

In any case, this guy’s obviously good at what he does, judging by the amount of medals he has stashed away somewhere. And I just gotta say…. Sea-town in the house!

Beijing’s secret plan to win gold

I think I’ve finally figured it out. Beijing’s secret plan to win the most gold medals in the outdoor sports.

The smog there is so thick there that it makes Los Angeles look like it went green. And it definitely wasn’t this bad when I went to visit back in 1999 or so. Things have changed. A lot.

In any case, the idea is that Chinese athletes have a tremendous advantage in both training and living in the smog itself. Even if it clears up to the point that they could see a little bit during the 2008 Olympics, I personally doubt that stopping all vehicles in and out of the city during the outdoor events will produce significant results, but maybe so. Either way though, the entire oxygen intake for cyclists, triathletes and track and field is definitely hampered for those that are not accustomed to the smog. It’s like living in L.A. and visiting L.A. from Aspen. An air quality change will definitely effect your performance.

Who knows what will be done about the smog and how it will effect the international teams competing. But I won’t hold my breath if China starts pulling those medals like taking candy from a baby.

Photo Credit: (rytc)