AIT director roots for AIT Dragon Boat team
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.