A favorite for visitors to the Chung Collection exhibition is the portrait of the 1926 Chinese Canadian soccer team, taken by C.B. Wand. Many are familiar with the history of Chinese Canadian soccer, and those who were not will be now: the 1933 Chinese Students Soccer team has been inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. The inductee biography describes the talent of the team and its importance to the Chinese Canadian community:
“Vancouver’s Chinatown would empty during Chinese Students’ matches down at the old Powell Street or Cambie Street grounds. The games served as a brief respite for a people living through the dual burdens of a widespread economic depression and daily racial prejudice from the surrounding white population, its most blatant forms the infamous Head Tax and the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act. The players became heroes for the community, revered for their quickness, skill, and determination in the face of white opponents who often employed openly rough and dirty tactics…Formed in 1920 and active until 1942, the team reached its apex during the 1933 season even gaining a grudging respect from the largely white Vancouver press, who marveled at the clinical goal-scoring of forward Quene Yip, a 1998 BC Sports Hall of Fame inductee, the deft passing of his brother Art Yip, and the cat-like quickness of goaltender Shupon Wong.”
The team has good company with other 2011 inductees including Trevor Linden and the B.C. team members of the 2010 Olympic Men’s hockey team! You can read more about their induction in the Globe and Mail.