Asian Air 



o debate on the prospects of Asian athletes in American sports passes without mention of Yao Ming, the Shanghai Sharks's 7-6, 265-pound center who recently led China to an 83-82 upset over the U.S. His prospects as the likely top pick of the 2002 NBA draft have been trumpeted by no lesser authorities than Michael Jordan and Bill Walton.
     But the 21-year-old superstar is literally one in a billion (1.25 billion to be exact). Young Yao is the product, genetically and culturally, of a 6-10 father and 6-4 mother, both of whom played basketball for China's national teams. His case is as likely to confuse the nature-vs-nurture debate as to help resolve it. After all, his height may be merely the tip of the genetic iceberg when it comes to his promise as a world-class basketballer.
     More familiar to Asian Americans are Michael Chang (5-9) who won the French Open at age 17, and Ichiro Suzuki (5-9), whose batting and base-stealing have lifted the Mariners from the basement to the heavens. Both seem endowed with standard physical equipment but have outperformed more powerful physiques. And on the women's side Kristi Yamaguchi, Michele Kwan, Seri Pak and legions of Chinese divers and gymnasts have shown that champions needn't be amazons.
     But these successes haven't silenced those who argue that as a race Asians lack the genetic gifts to challenge black and white athletes in power sports. Asians are genetically smaller and weaker, they claim, and can only excel in sports calling for quickness and agility. They cite Asian underrepresentation in track and field, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, boxing and the like.
     Will the future mirror the past? Are we genetically limited to excelling only in a few select sports or will changing social and economic conditions produce a generation of Asian superstars across the sports spectrum?

This interactive article is closed to new input.
Discussions posted during the past year remain available for browsing.

Asian American Videos

Films & Movies Channel

Humor Channel

Identity Channel

Vocals & Music Channel

Makeup & Hair Channel

Intercultural Channel


© 1996-2013 Asian Media Group Inc
No part of the contents of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission.


[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
There are some Asians in American sports today. Besides, look at Dat Nguyen (Dallas Cowboys), Wang Zhizhi (Dallas Mavericks), Zhang Haixia (Los Angeles Sparks), Michelle Kwan, Seri Pak, Kristi Yamaguchi, Chan ho Park, Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Chang, and the future Yao Ming (2002 NBA drafty). They are examples of the people you see.
I'm sure that other Asians someday will be recognized.
   Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 07:52:49 (PDT)
Samoan Son,

If your people are before the canoe, then how did you get to those islands. When did your race lose their wings or their gills and webbed apendages.

I heard about this site from a friend of mine. I'm Hawaiian Chinese, by blood. I don't look chinese, but two of my siblings do. I'm six five, dark skin, kinky hair, poly bone facial structure, so on. I've been mistaken for being Samoan, Tongan, and sometimes mexican. Born and raised in Hawaii, but I've travelled around the US and few foreign countries. What do you mean what did ancient Hawaiians look like? Brah, they looked human, two arms, two legs, feet, hands, so on. A few of my greatgrandparents are pureblood Hawaiians, do you think they look any different than the ancient Hawaiians.

Ufa for that eurocentric book you speak of. Frickin haoles been lying all through out history, so why should we believe them now. Brah you going to believe a frickin haole telling you that you come from africa before the canoes? What kind of a poly are you?

Polys have a lot in common with asians. Maybe we don't descend recently from a direct anscestor or land region, but we have a lot of similar social structures.

The asians have similar features but distinct features among the different groups. All poly groups are thought to originate from the same group of people but we have distinct features among us. You should know most of the poly groups didn't have a written language, and not all of the traditional ancient languages survived the bastardization of the so called missionaries.

Who are you to come here and give these guys grief on an asian website. Are you pure Samoan or are you a mix too? Where were you raised? People from different parts of the world have different opinions because they live in different economic and social environments. So what if we as Polys are not genetically the same as asians, can't they look up to the polys they know or hear about?

I've been to America Samoa, and I have friends from Western Samoa, guess what? Samoans that live in both areas come in many shades and many sizes. The whole myth about Samoans all being big is like saying all asians are small. It's a load of kukai.

I have Chinese, Japanese, and Korean friends and family who are both big and tall. I've met exchange students from asian countries who have told us about the guys there being tall as us, some taller.

As far as the Rock, sure he looks more Samoan than he does black, but he still loves his black father very much. I'm sure all you Rock fans know he choked his mother's sister for disrespecting his father when he was a boy. The Rock went to a school on Oahu named McKinley High school. He wasn't even the best athlete in that school. He's a nice guy, but just remember wrestling isn't real. If some one did those things to a person for real, then that other person isn't getting up and there be more of them going to the hospital. The only time they really get hurt is when one of them missed a move or a mark, aka Mistake.

If you want to know a real great Samoan athlete and man in general, then you should ask about Joe Onosai. That Sole is really badass. He's the real deal. I'm not the religious type, but this man is a minister and throughout his life he's always been one of the best polynesian athletes. He's always been humble and always strong as ten oxen. I met him in person, very nice guy.

As far as those jokers up in the bay area, the Sons Of Samoa, aka SOS. Don't judge all the Samoans based on the lawless ones. And don't over dramatize what those idiots did. If they went after the chinese up there it was for a reason. Generally speaking those idiots only fight in groups anyways, and they don't represent the whole very well. They are a prime example of being "a product of your environment."

To answer that question about helping some chinese getting punked by some blacks. There are too many variables. If it was a gang of crips or bloods thumping some innocent computer geeks, then me and my friends would be all over them. If it was a chinese gang fighting with a black gang, then who ever gets punked deserves the beating.

Have any of you heard the saying, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, it's the size of the fight in the dog that counts."

Hawaii didn't have street gangs before, but most of us are territorial. So if you're not from the westside, you don't generally go there unless you are visiting family. Same with the Northshore, and so on. But the first recognized gang was a bunch of filipinos who called themselves the Hawaiian Blood Brothers. They used to fight with the samoans all the time. That's when the SOS in Hawaii started along with some other poly gangs. Most polys don't associate with gangs, but are down for their neighborhood should something happen or intruders come. All polys are down for their families too, we take pride in knowing our extended family.

Jesus Salud was a great world champion boxer. He is small in stature and he is filipino. Frickin bukbuk and his brothers used to beat the crap out of polys in highschool. They all boxed.

Anyway who gives a rat's ass, this thread is supposed to be about asian athletes limited by genes and by nutrition. I think they are limited by the misconceptions of other ethnic groups who are caught up in the superficial superstar status of athletes.

ChiTown and TSJ, who would you help say if some Asian guys were thumping some other asian guys? I guess in your minds it would depend on what ethnic group the asian guys were from, right?

Did you know that there was a gang of asians targetting other asians in southern california? They make the SOS look like girlscouts. I'm sure none of the SOS were actually doing home invasions on the chinese people you allege they attacked. And, I'm sure the SOS didn't rape or kill any of those people you allege they were seeking out to beat down. What about these asian guys, so ruthless government agencies know about them?

This is a dumb question, but would you rather be shot or would you rather be beaten up?

Yes, I have cousins in Compton, and other parts of the Bay area. Yes, some of my cousins are part Samoan, and some are even part Tongan.

Samoan Son, you're poly not popolo, unless you're like the Rock. Popolos can't swim so when your anscestors made it to the island they must have had wings, since they were before the canoe. Just joking Sole.

And by the way Sole, just like the different asians groups fight and have serious dislike for each other, polys are the same. It all depends on where you live, it changes the way you think. Plus the nerve of some polys thinking they are better than others because they can speak their language or because they have a so called royal family. The Tahitians are probably the most relaxed polys I know, aside from the polys on the really small island clusters. The only time I've seen the Tahitians get crazy was when those frickin hoale from france tested that bomb. It was sad in more ways than one. To see on tv the policemen getting beat for doing their job, they were Tahitians getting beat by Tahitians because the frickin haole was hiding. I remember screaming at the tv and punching the wall because the frickin polys was beating each other. It was the haole fault.

One more thing regarding how these professional athletes and entertainers classify themselves. Look for their official bio, some of them don't claim all of what they are for obvious reasons. They are in the market to entertain, and to get jobs for themselves they have to be marketable. Unfortunately there is a real prejudice in the entertainment business.

Oh yeah one more thing. Regarding that comment about going up to a Samoan and telling him your related or something like that. A poly is more insulted if you accidentally tell them they are Samoan if they are Hawaiian, or visa versa. Even Tongans get mad. But we've come a long way as polys, so as a whole I believe polys now a days are more down for one another.

Now if I saw some popolos fighting with some Samoans, then I'd get the Soles back. I'd be there for them, even if I didn't know them. Most polys are like that, kickass and ask questions later. But if I saw some Tongans and some Samoans going at it, as long as it was a fair fight, I'd enjoy the fight. Both have happened before, and I enjoyed it. But both were up in the mainland.

If I'm cruisin in No. Cal's bay area, and I saw some Chinese guys going at it with some blacks guys, and i didn't know either group, i'd be down for the Chinese guys. Yeah, probably because I'm part Chinese, but also because I relate more to the Chinese.

I probaly wrote too much. My friend told me I might get too involved with this place. I guess he was right.

Not all polys are mean and ruthless. We are all human anyway.

My favorite asian athlete right now is Dat Nguyen. He's the real deal middle linebacker with pop.

My favorite asian athlete of all time is Chiyonofuji, aka the Wolf. This guy was badass in his prime. He was a grandchampion Sumotori. Frickin guy was three plus and he had a sick pack and his body was chiselled. This guy was solid muscle. He easily picked up guys like Konishki, aka Saleavaatisanoi, and placed them outside the ring.

Anyway, I'm outy.
HIC (Hawaiian Island Creation)
   Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 03:09:27 (PDT)
["Do you think if you were ever getting jumped by a group of Blacks or Whites that a group of passing Samoans would say,"Man we gotta help them out, they're one of us." Yeah, right!
They'd probably say,"Look at those little Chinks getting their asses beat," and laugh while they're saying it."

You're right on this. A couple of years ago, there was this ruthless Samoan gang in the Bay that went out specifically to target Chinese men (mostly computer geeks).]

DAMN, brother!!! Were you scared, TSJ?
I would be!!! Well, I've had some crap from Samoans in the past... cuz they thought I was "one f***ing haole".
At the time I was pretty skinny and only slightly muscular at around 145-150 lbs.
But now I'm probably as big as any Samoan. Muahahahahaha...
I may be under 5'10", but I'm pretty close to 185 lbs now.
Must be the food and weightlifting!
Plus I think Samoans would be more receptive towards me if they too were in a city full of haoles... hahahaha
Jay... the hapa who grew
   Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 02:24:14 (PDT)
Ray -
You need to do some more research yourself. Those anthropological classifications you speak of are largely disregarded by contemporary scholars as products of Eurocentric worldview. There is a saying that "History is written by the winners" and if you look at who was developing the field of Anthropology in the late 1800's/early 20th century, it was mostly white, upper-class European males - much like every other "social science" out there. Look deeper into those artificial categories and you will see that the classifications are arbitrary and at the time they were created, were skewed to give a numeric advantage to "Caucasians." Oft cited examples are that Australian Aboriginies, South Indians, Arabs, Central Asians and natives of New Guinea were all classified as "Caucasian." It's been several years since I was in college but even then, I remember those categories referred to as relics of early anthropology, similar to how early criminology promoted a biological theory of propensity to commit crime (eyes that are spaced too close together, for example). I don't think anyone in the field except those that study Eugenics really feel these categories hold much weight.

People with Down's Syndrome are also called "Mongoloid" - do you really want to claim this label? Move beyond the categories, kid!
L.A. Chica
   Wednesday, June 19, 2002 at 17:07:24 (PDT)
I know soccer is a small time sport in the US. However, it is a big time sport in the rest of the world. Have AA noticed how Japan and Korea have performed so far in World Cup 2002? Japan and Korea finished top in their own groups in the 1st round. None yielded a defeat to European teams. Japan beat Russia 1-0 and almost upset Belgium had their third goal not been called back. Though Japan bowed out in the round of 16, but they had already won the international recognition. Korea just baffled Italy 2-1 with their fast attacking style soccer. The Italians were so upset and ashamed that Perugia's chairman sacked Ahn Jung Hwan, who had scored the golden goal in extended time. They also beat one of the group favorites Portugal 1-0 in the first round. Some predicts Korea could as well make it to the final. The Europeans have been tremendously baffled in this World Cup b/c many of their favorites were eliminated in the 1st round by 'weak' African & Asian nations. First, France, then Portugal, now Italy. They are fingerpointing at the refereeing & disadvantageous away conditions for their losses.

Japan & Korea's soccer teams have proven to AA that Asians can rival Caucasians in their own sports.
   Wednesday, June 19, 2002 at 16:04:07 (PDT)
That's why Bodybuilding is needed for Asian Males. I laugh at those posts who say that we don't need it or do it for yourself and not others. Then why would you weightlift but to do it for yourself and for others. So others will respect you more?

BodyBuilding is scientifically proven to be the best way to change your physique. Especially for the Asian male frame we need to bodybuild to develop respect for ourselves. It will improve your confidence and outlook in life just because some may only bodybuild and that is all they have doesn't mean you still can't develop your body and improve it. Provided that other areas of you life are not neglected.
BodyBuilding is needed still
   Wednesday, June 19, 2002 at 12:07:57 (PDT)
Anyone who distinguishes Samoans and PI'S and other people as different are really mistaken. A person can only be either black, white, and Asian. The scientific name for them are NEGROID(People with African descent), CAUCASOID( People with European Descent), and MONGOLOID (People with Asian descent). I tell you that anyone who has done some research on these facts will agree, including all Anthropologists.
Let's talk about Hispanics for a sec. They are not of a particular race; they are hybrids of either of the three races, particularly the Native Indians who are Asians. So what is it that divides us so? Is it years of separation? Pride of oneself? Pride of country? Or is something more? These questions can only really be answered by a Psychologist, a person who studies human behavior. But even them cannot truly answer the human mind. And how about people who are mixed? How do they choose whether what race they should determine themselves? The answer is whatever race shows more of a distinguishing characteristic.Take the Rock for example.
The Rock appears to look more Samoan than he does Black. When a kid grows up, he tends to hang out with other kids that look like them so they find more similarities then they are different. They are also many people with half Asian and White descent who tend to look more white than asian. Is that why 4 out of 10 Asians in America marry people of another race, mostly whites? Or is it the reason why whites marry Asians? This is true in most cases, but there exceptions like Tyger Woods who acknowledges himself as both Black and Asian. A person has to look at all angles to understand human behavior and why we are so similar, but yet so different.
For more information of races, nationality, and other neat facts that might anger you, but actually truly real, go do some more research and you'll find out many things that you have not even thought of.

   Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 20:22:14 (PDT)
The Rock looks more Black than Samoan??? HAHAHAHA

SAMOANS - tanned brown skin, sharper features, most have thin lips, wavy or straight hair

BLACKS - usually dark brown skin, thick lips, frizzy hair (African type)

check your eyes my friend. The Rock looks more like his Samoan grandfather than say Booker T an African American. I know African Americans that say they don't accept him because he dosen't show more of his Black side and that he dosen't look Black.
Goooo Cooooorea.
   Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 13:25:05 (PDT)
Heads up! Another great AA diver, Kimiko Solidato, is training for the 2004 Olympics up in The Woodlands (a suburb N of Houston, TX). She, along with fellow teammate Laura Wilkinson, is training with seasoned diving Coach Kenny Armstrong.

Kimiko is 28, and had been a gymnast at Stanford before a knee injury led to a change in sports. The gal has a hot, tight body and does nothing but clean dives on the 3 m springboard and the 10 m platform. Look for her at a tourney near you!!!
H-Town Sportz Dude
   Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 11:38:12 (PDT)
"Do you think if you were ever getting jumped by a group of Blacks or Whites that a group of passing Samoans would say,"Man we gotta help them out, they're one of us." Yeah, right!
They'd probably say,"Look at those little Chinks getting their asses beat," and laugh while they're saying it."

You're right on this. A couple of years ago, there was this ruthless Samoan gang in the Bay that went out specifically to target Chinese men (mostly computer geeks).
TSJ    Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 11:16:48 (PDT)