Northwest Asian Weekly
Alexa Loo dreamed big. An accountant by day, she never lost sight of her Olympic dreams. At age 37, she is older than most athletes at the Olympic Winter Games. She has a degree in commerce from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Loo is a Chinese Canadian snowboarder. She was the first Canadian woman to compete at an Olympic Winter Games in the parallel giant slalom event at Turin in 2006. Her major event this year was the parallel giant slalom at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Loo had two previous Olympic disappoints to make up for. According to the Vancouver Sun, Loo missed qualifying for the Salt Lake Winter Games in 2002 by a fraction of a second. In 2006, in Turin, she crashed during the qualifying run.
She almost didn’t take part in the 2010 Vancouver Games.
According to the Sun, Loo faced funding problems. She suffered a knee injury in 2007. Sport Canada pulled her funding, stating that she had not shown the necessary improvement to receive an $18,000 stipend.
According to its website, Sport Canada develops policies, provides financial support through funding programs, and undertakes a number of special initiatives in order to enhance opportunities for Canadians to participate and excel in sports.
Loo went on local radio stations and talked about her financial problems.
Kin’s Farm Market’s marketing director heard one of her interviews and suggested that Kin’s founders sponsor Loo.
Kin’s Farm Market began as a single table of produce in 1983. It was started by Chinese immigrant brothers Kin Wah Leung and Kin Hun Leung. Today, the company has grown to 27 stores, according to its website.
Last year Kin’s Farm Market promoted reusable bags with Loo’s face on them. At $1 a piece, the bags paid for Loo’s training.
“Thanks to the support of our community, we were able to raise $20,000 for Alexa’s training,” stated a press release on Kin’s Farm Market website.
“Kin’s has been awesome to me, it’s more than I ever could have hoped for,” Loo told the Richmond Review.
“And to know the community is part of this, too, is really gratifying to me. Working hard and giving back to my community are things that both Kin’s and I stand for.”
Loo came in 12th place, the best ever Olympic showing by a Canadian in the event. She missed the quarterfinals by only one-hundredth of a second. ♦