AIT di­rec­tor roots for AIT Dragon Boat team

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The new Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT) di­rec­tor Kin Moy yesterday rooted for an AIT team dur­ing a dragon boat rac­ing com­pe­ti­tion in Taipei as he joined the cel­e­bra­tions of Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val in Tai­wan.

The AIT team, com­prised of­fi­cials and staff, how­ever, was un­able to ad­vance dur­ing yesterday’s pre­lim­i­nary round of the an­nual matchup held at Da­jia River­side Park.

The team proved un­able to row in a straight line and did not man­age to fin­ish the race in the men’s di­vi­sion.

De­spite the dis­ap­point­ing re­sult, Moy, the new top U.S. en­voy to Tai­wan, said he was ex­cited to ex­pe­ri­ence lo­cal cul­ture.

Moy praised the team’s ef­forts in the race, say­ing that the AIT team will come back next year. “I am pre­dict­ing bet­ter luck,” he noted.

Com­ment­ing on his first en­counter with dragon boat rac­ing in Tai­wan, Moy said it was a ter­rific event. “I have never been be­fore. I think this is just fab­u­lous.”

He noted that this is the eighth year that the AIT has had a team in the dragon boat race in Tai­wan.

Asked if he would con­sider join­ing the race next year, the new de facto U.S. am­bas­sador to Tai­wan said he would need a lot of prac­tice be­fore do­ing so but he would think about it.

Out­go­ing AIT spokesman Mark Zim­mer, who par­tic­i­pated in yesterday’s com­pe­ti­tion said the AIT team was were in­ca­pable of row­ing in a straight line.

“We’re happy to par­tic­i­pate,” he said, ex­press­ing hope that the AIT women’s team will do bet­ter in its pre­lim­i­nary race set for to­day.

Moy of­fi­cially as­sumed his du­ties as the U.S.’s top en­voy to Tai­wan on June 8 to take over the va­cancy left with the de­par­ture of his pre­de­ces­sor Christo­pher Marut.

The Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val, one of three ma­jor fes­ti­vals in Tai­wan, takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lu­nar cal­en­dar. This year the hol­i­day falls to­day.

Dur­ing the an­nual hol­i­day, dragon boat races are held around Tai­wan to com­mem­o­rate Chi­nese poet Qu Yuan ( ).

This year, the dragon boat com­pe­ti­tion in Taipei fea­tures over 240 teams from Tai­wan and coun­tries around the world, in­volv­ing over 6,000 par­tic­i­pants, ac­cord­ing to the Taipei City Gov­ern­ment.

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