Confidently Beautiful in a Dragon Boat

Some of most beautiful women in the universe were spotted in a dragon boat in the paradise island of Boracay in the Philippines. Sixteen lovely beauties visited Boracay and were warmly welcomed by the officials and locals of Malay in Aklan, the province where the world-famous island is situated. Aside from paddling in the beautiful shores of Boracay, the contestants also got to try fishnet-making and handicraft-weaving using palm leaves.

The island visit is just one segment of the different pre-pageant activities that all 86 contestants must go through. Such activities include photo shoots, swimwear competition, and women empowerment activations–all leading to the 65th Miss Universe Coronation Night scheduled on the 30th January at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

This dragon boat training activity organised for the Miss Universe candidates is a great exposure for the sport of dragon boat. Don’t we all want to live to see the day where every time we mention ‘dragon boat’, we’ll hear: “Oh cool!”, instead of “Sorry, dragon what?”

Here are some the photos of them Confidently Beautiful paddlers!

netpinas dot inquirer interaksyon netpinas-2 manila-bulletin cnn-philippines netpinas-3 rappler

Thanks to Richelle Louise Singson-Michael and the whole Miss Universe marketing team who made this Dragon Boat segment possible in cooperation with the Department of Tourism, Solar Sports and the Province of Aklan. Watch it air LIVE on 29th January on FOX from The Philippines.

Photos: Department of Tourism, CNN Philippines, Rappler, Inquirer Lifestyle, InterAksyon, Sunstar, Netpinas, Manila Bulletin

Dragon Boats turn Hot as Ice

When the Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival opened its registration in November last year, it had a spectacular 10-minute sell out. The organising committee then had to make a decision to open another block to give chance for more teams to enter the competition.

This mirrors the ever growing popularity of the sport of dragon boat; and in this case, it’s on ice. Various dragon boat teams from California, Florida, New York, Ontario and Quebec have entered to join the festivities that’s happening on 17th – 18th February 2017 on the Rideau Canal Skateway at Dow’s Lake in Winterlude, Ottawa, Canada.

Ice Dragon Boat Canada Ice Dragon Boat Canada

It’s Canada’s 150th Anniversary and this adrenaline-filled dragon boating fiesta will surely bring more excitement and colour to the historic year-long celebration.

Haley Ritchie of Metro spoke with John Brooman, CEO of Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, to know more about ice dragon boating. Read the full interview HERE.

Guest Posting | Introducing Gushou, The Future of Dragon Boat Organization

Gushou is an online sport management platform designed for dragon boat. It is a hub, tool, and resource for all segments of the global dragon boat community. Gushou (pronounced “Gu-shoe”) means drummer in Chinese. The drummer is the pulse of any dragon boat team and we want to be the pulse of the dragon boat community.

Gushou the Dragon

We have been paddlers, team captains, coaches, and event organizers. With over 40 years of combined experience in dragon boat and other paddling sports between the two of us, we have both experienced and observed specific challenges that face athletes and organizers in the dragon boat community. We also run Sunnyside Paddling Club – with over 3000 paddlers, it is the largest in North America. Gushou was built to address the specific challenges of team captains, organizers, and paddlers – created by paddlers for paddlers. We’re looking to make an amazing sport more accessible to everyone.

The Founders

Blake Harra

Blake Harra

Chrissy Wessman

Chrissy Wessman

On Gushou, Team Captains can manage their roster, streamline communication in one place, and recruit new paddlers more efficiently. Paddlers can find teams who are recruiting in their area and stay up to date on the latest team communication, and practice and race schedules. Event/Club Organizers can promote themselves and will soon will be able to manage registration and scheduling, easily communicate with all stakeholders, track charitable giving, and increase revenue through wider community recognition. Another feature to be added is the vendor marketplace. Because dragon boat isn’t as widely known as some of the other mainstream sports, you can’t just go anywhere to get gear. Paddlers will be able to connect with vendors to make Gushou a true one-stop-shop for all things dragon boat.

We’re currently developing the next phase and we are always rolling out new and better features based on user feedback. We want to create the ultimate user experience that will be the future of dragon boat organization for the global community.

By Chrissy Wessman and Blake Hara

Website: www.gogushou.com

Indiegogo Campaign (running until August 7 11:59 PM): With over 100 events, 150 teams, and thousands of paddlers already registered on the platform, Gushou is currently stepping into the next phase of the launch strategy. They are running a crowdfunding campaign to help them get to the next development level. They are creating the ultimate user experience for all things dragon boat. Gushou will give the ability to track race results in real time and event history in addition to the continuously evolving team organization features.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gogushou
Twitter: www.twitter.com/gogushou
Instagram: www.instagram.com/gogushou

9 Dragon Boat Principles to Help you Win at Life

The sport of Dragon Boat has taught you many lessons that you can apply in real life. Teamwork and camaraderie for example, are just two of a number of life principles that you may have picked up or developed from the sport. To make your dragon boating life more meaningful, you should embrace all the learnings from it, especially those that make you an expert about life.

Qualities like mental toughness, being a team player, or having a winning mindset are just some of the takeaways you have acquired from dragon boat. Here’s a few compilation of some of the most inspiring words of wisdom by national athletes from around the world; and here’s hoping that you may embody these amazing qualities to help you and your team in stepping up your game, in sport, and, in life.

Ed Nguyen


1. Leave your Ego by the Dock Site

“That one crucial part is for members to leave their ego at the door. You can have a team full of the best athletes in the world, but if they can’t check their egos and blend with humility, it’s a recipe for disaster.”

Christine Pezzulo, National Athlete – Team USA

2. Paddles Up! Persevere!

“Keep going, keep your head up, be proud! Always reach further, I was told I would never walk again! I could not, WOULD not accept that! You keep battling! Afghanistan was my war, now my injury is my war! Life is for living; live it to the max.”

Mark Harding, National Athlete – Great Britain Dragon Boat Team

3. Listen to the Beat of the Drum

“I always maintain a healthy respect for my paddlers of all levels, since I am often paddling in the boat with them too. I am aware that as a sole person I may not see or understand all things of all paddlers at all times. So I encourage healthy discussion and conversation from my paddlers. This two-way dialogue encourages respect and cohesion amongst the paddlers.”

Dennis Wright, National Athlete – Auroras – Australian Dragon Boat Team

4. Keep a Fit Mind and Body

“I think the key to success in sport is staying physically and mentally energetic by staying motivated and free from physical obstacles like injuries and illnesses.”

Carl Marco Wassén, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Sweden (Sverige)

5. Paddle with your Heart

“We play sports like dragon boat because we love doing it. The awards and medals are only a small part of it. Yes, you will strive to be the best but in so doing, loving and enjoying the sport is already an ultimate goal achieved.”

Nutcharat Chimbanrai, National Athlete – Thailand Dragon Boat Team

6. Practice builds Confidence

“Never give up and have a big goal and ambition. One needs to be very confident on training and during competition. The most important thing is to keep training and practice a lot.”

Wu Chun-Chieh, National Athlete – Chinese-Taipei Dragon Boat Team

7. Motivated to Motivate

“One thing that keeps me going when I’m tired during a race or in training is the knowledge that my teammates around me are hurting just as much and that my opponents are pushing themselves even harder.”

Kiyoshi Morishita, National Athlete – Dragon Boat Team Canada

8. Synchronised for One Goal

“Unity is important especially in a team because without it you will not achieve your goal. For example, when our team is focused on a certain programme today, it requires everyone to be united in following and doing it; when others did not perform well, we need to do it again and again until we have perfected it.”

Riza Canonoy, National Athlete – Philippine National Dragon Boat Team

9. Celebrate Victory, but..

“The victories in the past give self-confidence of course and also the necessary composure for the upcoming challenges. However, one shouldn’t relax on the victories from the past; there will always be new aims, new opponents and therefore also new duties.”

Marc Rößler, National Athlete – Team Germany (Deutschland)

Ed Nguyen


Photo Credits: Ed Nguyen Photography

 
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Live An Authentic Life

Dragon Boat World Athlete: Flexing Extra Power for A Worthy Cause

This Q&A was with Dragon Boat World Athlete, Christine Pezzulo, National Athlete – Team USA.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo

DRAGON BOAT WORLD ATHLETE PROFILE

NAME: Christine Pezzulo
BIRTHPLACE: Inglewood, California, USA
AGE: 49yo
TRAINING COMMITMENT: Full-Time
POSITION: Paddler
PADDLING SIDE: Both; Racing Left
HEIGHT: 170cm
STATUS: Single

MEDAL RECORD:
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships 2015, Welland, Ontario, Canada, GoldPremiere Women 2000m; 3 SilversPremiere Women 200m, 500m, 1000m


Christine Pezzulo from Team USA, only heard about Dragon Boat in 2008 when a friend invited her to join for training. “When I moved to Portland, a friend of mine from the gym invited me to try dragon boating and then later on I competed for Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race.”, Christine shared. She first joined a corporate team called Dragon Rose and she paddled with them for two seasons.

Christine is currently paddling with Wasabi Paddling Club and it’s been an amazing ‘dragon boating ride’ for her since she first held on a paddle back in 2008. “I took a year off from paddling to train for an Ironman race.” she said. “It’s been seven years of paddling but aside from dragon boat and triathlon racing, I also enjoy hiking, hitting the gym and quality time with my cute dog, Molly.”

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo
Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo

This amazing Dragon Boat World Athlete also enjoys competing in the World Police and Fire Games. “I have been a firefighter for twenty two years (since ‘94) and I’ve been with Wildland Hot Shot Crew for seven years now.”, Christine said. She’s been very involved with the Firefighter Stair Climb as well, a noble event that was started by a retired Portland Firefighter whose two grandsons have Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Christine has been the top fundraiser of Firefighter Stair Climb for the last five years and became two-time first place winner which made her one of the top five female climbers in all of seven years. Let’s get to know more about our fellow paddler, Christine, and let’s be inspired by her continuous pursuit in helping raise funds for CF treatment.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo
Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo


Q: You’ve been with Team USA for quite a while now and have been fondly dubbed by some teammates as “Mama Hen”, why is this so?

A: I’m not aware that I’ve been called “Mama Hen” but being the oldest in the team, it doesn’t surprise me. 🙂

Q: In the many years of experience in a team sport like dragon boat, how do you define teamwork? What is that crucial thing that makes ‘teamwork’ work?

A: Teamwork is something that I’ve been involved in, in every aspect of my life (Work, play, sports). I define it as two or more people coming together to accomplish a common goal, by applying their individual skills and talents in such a way that it successfully blends with the rest of the team. That one crucial part is for members to leave their ego at the door. You can have a team full of the best athletes in the world, but if they can’t check their egos and blend with humility, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo
Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo

Q: You have maintained your Premier status in the team for quite a while now, we want to know how does it really feel like to be paddling for one’s country?

A: It’s a great honor and a pleasure to be representing my country. Each paddler earns their seat and the competition is fierce, so to be on that final roster is a feeling of accomplishment. I take great pride in being chosen as a member of this amazing team.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo
Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo

Q: As you stand in the World Championship podium, listening to your National Anthem being played, what goes on in your head?

A: The feeling of standing on the podium and hearing my national anthem is exhilarating! Major goosebumps, tears and the overwhelming feeling of love for my teammates, because we got there together.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo

Q: We understand that one of your hobbies is firefighter climbing and you have helped two little boys to raise money for research on cystic fibrosis, can you tell us a bit about it and how was the feeling post-fundraising?

A: I climb in the name of finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. My friend and fire brother’s grandsons, who live with CF, have become my extended family. I’ll continue to climb and raise money for this very worthy cause. Carson and Brandon are the boys I climb for. They call me “Auntie Pezz.” The feeling I get helping these boys, and all the others living with CF is very good. I’ve raised several thousands of dollars over the past seven years and I’ve seen great advancements in better treatment; leading to more tomorrows for my boys and many others. The average lifespan for those living with CF used to be on their teens; and with all the advancements in better treatment, people are living into their 40s. I look forward to the number increasing.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo
Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo
Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo

Q: You have been a great value in the dragon boat community because of the noble acts you’ve done, on the other hand, how did dragon boat affect you as a person?

A: Dragon boating fulfills me with the competitive edge and camaraderie. The sense of community is huge for me and some of my closest friends come from dragon boating. Training together, competing together and celebrating together is priceless. The fulfillment I get both on and off the water brings great joy to my life.

Q: Finally, who is the athlete that you admire most and why?

A: I admire any athlete who works their ass off and maintains a humble attitude, regardless of the sport or their experience.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Christine Pezzulo

 
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