Two Stars Trust Their Future to Linda Christas
By Connie Silvera, Class of '15
Sophia (Ziyi) Wang, an outstanding golf prospect based in Beijing, and Vivian (Wen) Qing, a high school tennis champion who hails from Shanghai, have both joined the Linda Christas team.
Both students expect to carry their future college or university to victory in their respective sport.
Sophia (pictured at left) spends most of her time, while not studying for top grades, playing golf.
Beginning at age eleven, Sophia views golf as a character building exercise as well as an exciting sport.
For example, when practicing her golf swing alone on golf ranges, she sometimes has to fight what she refers to as boredom. However, she says that this boredom allows her to practice perseverance. "In life, being able to press on in the face of the temptation to give up is very valuable," Sophia says.
Sophia continued, "We have a saying in China that if one wants to have one quality minute on stage, it takes ten years of practice to accomplish it."
More important than just practice is correct practice, according to Sophia. "If one is practicing bad putting or drives, that isn't good. One must practice correctly, and that's where my good coaches come into the picture."
Sophia has entered and placed high in the ranks of youth golf in Beijing, and, her Linda Christas coach says she is going to be recruited by some of the best colleges and universities in the United States, all of which want the very finest golfers they can find wearing their colors on the golf course.
Traveling several hundred miles south to Shanghai, we find Vivian (pictured at right) doing her thing.
Vivian has spent the last year leading her American high school tennis team, Crown Point, to one victory after another.
The story of Vivian's rise to stardom had a practical beginning.
At the age of 7, her parents noted that she and her older brother tended to catch colds too easily. They didn't seem to have much in the way of physical stamina.
In order to remedy this, their parents signed both of the children up for tennis lessons, and the rest is history.
Vivian seemed to have a natural talent for the game, so much so that she was encouraged to enter competitions.
A 4.0 student at Crown Point, her coach Brian Elton says, "She's a great kid, smart kid, very motivated. With her personality and her play, she's been a great addition to our team."
Vivian will also be a great addition to a top American college or university, and it will be her Linda Christas coach's responsibility to lead her to the winners stand.
This reporter asked both Sophia's and Vivian's Linda Christas coaches what they see in the future for these students.
They both said about the same thing.
"These athletes are not only gifted in their respective sports, but they also have the key ingredient that sets apart truly successful athletes from those who are not so successful. That ingredient is ATTITUDE."
Both Sophia and Vivian have reputations for being willing to listen, to practice, and then to compete with a genuine sense of what sport is all about.
Their respective pursuit of excellence in the classroom and on the court or course will make them attractive to some of the very best colleges and universities in the United States.
I asked the coaches to name some of the programs that they were looking at, and names like Amherst, Dartmouth, Bowdoin and Swarthmore were mentioned.
All of these schools are in the top fifty in the United States in terms of producing successful graduates.
These kinds of schools assign their best teachers to undergraduates, something that some of the more famous schools do not do.
All in all, Sophia and Vivian can look forward to brilliant futures.