Sometimes prowess and athletic ability are not enough to sustain a young man's dreams to play professional hockey. Sometimes a young player's aspirations are stopped because society just isn't prepared to let these goals thrive.
Larry Kwong, aka The China Clipper, played centre for the formidable New York Rangers and was recognized for his tremendous playing ability. But given the climate of the times, Kwong would not enjoy longevity in the NHL, playing literally a New York minute before coming off the ice.
Kwong played with several leagues after leaving the Rangers franchise. Eventually, he would go to Switzerland where for 15 years, he would be instrumental in developing a program for European hockey players. In 1997, he was welcomed back in Switzerland where he received honours for his role in Swiss hockey.
In June, Larry Kwong will turn 90 years old. Now a double amputee, Kwong perseveres despite his health issues and his advanced age. Vernon school teacher, Chad Soon, has been a powerful force in ensuring that Kwong's achievements are acknowledged and not forgotten. Kwong played years before Chinese Canadians were allowed voting privileges. His story has been told on CBC's The National as well as the award winning documentary, The Lost Years.
Kwong's story is not just a case of equity and equality, he's a hockey hero who should be known by visitors to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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