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Archive for July 13th, 2009

If someone had told me five months ago that I would be racing dragon boats in China, I would have said they were crazy! It’s hard to imagine that only a short time ago I didn’t have a clue about this incredible sport.  Dragon boat racing started thousands of years ago in China. It’s a team paddling sport where a canoe-style boat is used.  Now, not only can I hold my own paddling the boat, but I can proudly say that I was a member of the only American team to compete in the 2009 Dragon Boat races in China!

Dragon Boating Competitors

Dragon Boating Competitors

The interest in this exciting sport is catching – at least in our design department! Surprisingly, I wasn’t the only le•top designer racing in China. Gail – our extraordinary graphic designer – was the person who first introduced me to the sport. Thanks to her, I am not only part of the team, but I’ve become part of a fun and adventurous “family”.

We competed in races in a couple of different cities, one of which was Milu, the birthplace of dragon boating. It was amazing to be able to participate in the sport that originated there over 2000 years ago! The fun part is, as in any sport that each team has a name – we call ourselves the Absolute Dragons!  We are a mixed crew, meaning that we are made up of women and men. In China there is no such thing as a “mixed” team, which meant we had to race against all men’s teams. Even though we didn’t place in the standings, we did manage to beat nine teams! Wow, were they mad when they got beat by a boat full of women!

Beautiful Sights

Beautiful Sights

China was such an unbelievable experience. One thing I will always remember is how popular my platinum blonde hair was with the locals. I was chased down at every corner by people asking for my picture! I now know what it must feel like to be famous. Man, do I feel bad for Brad Pitt!

Whether it was holding up peace signs for pictures with the locals, racing in the dragon boat, hiking the Great Wall, or just celebrating the Chinese culture – China was the trip of a lifetime, one I will never forget!

…this post was written by Sarah, le•top designer

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