News Is Sometimes Very Incidental

By David Li,

An afternoon planned for running on the soccer field, was turned into handshakes with Olympic champions in a hockey arena, and a news report on the front page.

Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue wish the best of our readers at Harvard ice hockey arena(photo by David Li).

April 2, 2011 was the first day I started working for the China Press Weekly Boston Edition. I only planned to go to MIT Student Activity Center that evening to cover the Centennial Celebration of Tsinghua University by its Boston Alumni Association. In the afternoon of that day, I went to a park in Malden to play soccer with my friends of the Boston United soccer team. However, the soccer field was taken, and we had to wait.

While waiting on the sidelines, someone told me that reining Olympic figure skating champions Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue would perform that afternoon at Harvard’s ice hockey arena. So, after getting bored of waiting, I decided to take a chance to go there not knowing if I could go inside the arena or not as I didn’t even have a business card yet.

Luckily, the most difficult part of the visit turned out to be finding a parking space around Harvard Stadium. The person who was in charge that day, Ms. Kim Donlan of ICE CHIPS, brought me to the front row reserved for media, and even arrange a 5-minute interview for me with Mr. and Mrs. Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue in the VIP room after they finished first of two performances on that day.

They looked a little bit tired after the performance, and a long trip from Beijing to Boston, but were very gracious to me. They had been partners for pairs figure skating  for 19 years, and had a fairy-tale wedding on ice in Beijing’s Capital Arena in September 2010. They wished our readers well, posed for a picture and signed autographs for me.