Jamie Yeung ’15
joined HKIS as a freshman to fully submerge herself in the swimming program offered at HKIS by Stingrays. She went on to swim at the University of Michigan as a Division 1 athlete, the highest level of collegiate competitive athletics, training alongside other Hong Kong athletes. This training all came to a head when she qualified to represent Hong Kong at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, held in July and August 2021. This was Hong Kong’s most successful Olympic delegation ever, coming home with a whopping six medals!
In September, she sat down with fellow alum Gigi Choy ’14, a reporter at the South China Morning Post, to talk about her path from Tai Tam to Tokyo! Watch
from a virtual alumni event, read Gigi’s
piece or listen to the podcast linked below!
Jamie, HKIS's first Olympian at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
“Strive for excellence, but also have fun in the process....Stingrays taught me how to balance things and push through even when I’m tired.”
On lessons learned at HKIS
It’s not just you, it’s the team of people coming together to accomplish the same goal.
On being inspired by her Division 1 athletes in college
In the zone
Jamie representing Hong Kong by swimming the breast stroke leg in the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
“If you love it, work hard and go for it”
On demanding goals
“I love the silence and also the rush of being in the water.”
On what she loves about swimming
“HKIS gave great fundamentals, to prepare me for college and to be a D1 [Division 1] Student Athlete, I’m really grateful for the journey and time here.”
Friends and teammates
celebrating Siobhan Haughey's two Olympic silver medals, and having a moment together as former NCAA University of Michigan teammates.
“Have enough sleep! It cures everything. Work hard and train smart.”
On avoiding overtraining
“I loved Humanities I in Action. It involved going out to the community to do work, remember going to an orphanage in Foshan, an eye-opener of how to apply what you’re learning in class to the real world.”
On favorite classes
“Trust that they’re working hard, and let them blossom.”
On advice to parents
at an Olympic ceremony, representing Hong Kong, China.
By Kristi Granquist (
UPS Associate Principal
), Dustin Wood (
UPS Tech Coach
Wendy Smith (
UPS STEM Coach
Like Jamie Yeung,
Upper Primary School (UPS) students have had lots of opportunities to practice perseverance. At the UPS, students know they will face challenges and will need to keep trying, even when things don’t work out the first time. In fact, learning experiences in the Innovation Space are intentionally designed to create these moments!
Recently our third grade students tackled a “Crooked Swing” design challenge in the Garage and STEM Lab. They applied their understanding of predictable motions of pendulums and used our HKIS Design Process: Inquire - Imagine - Create - Reflect - Improve. Collaborative teams got to work planning, designing, building, and testing their swing models. They quickly discovered that their first prototype swings were not swinging smoothly! How would they persevere?
After reflecting on the criteria for a successful swing, students continued to make improvements to their designs. Teams shared their thinking and prototypes with each other as they continued to preserve and support each other through the iterative process.
At the UPS, students know they will face challenges and will need to keep trying, even when things don’t work out the first time.
Grade 3 students creating and testing their "Crooked Swing" design in the UPS Garage.
Quotes from 3rd grade engineers who persevered:
“It’s still not swinging smoothly. Let’s try changing where we’re attaching the string.”
“Let’s try to make our swing stronger!”
“It’s okay if it didn’t work. We have a new idea to try.”