If you’re a follower of our local sports scene, chances are you’ve heard of him. You may know that the young 24-year-old National Sprinter represented the nation at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian and SEA Games all before he turned 20. You may also know that he clinched the silver and bronze medals at the 2011 Jakarta-Palembang Southeast Asian Games and 2012 ASEAN University Games respectively. Most recently, Calvin Kang was at Incheon representing Singapore at Asian Games 2014 in the sprints events.
Calvin Kang at 2014 Incheon Asian Games
Impressive athletic accolades aside, to say that we aren’t fascinated with this happy-go-lucky fellow would be a lie. A quick scroll through the avid Instagramer’s feed reveals more about his personality than the one we’re familiar with on the race track. The budding professional athlete also wears the hats of entrepreneur, musician, fashionista and dare we say selfie-pro. We got to catch Calvin Kang in between his intense trainings leading up to his final event at the Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, as he shares some secrets to his passion, style, motivation and selfie-taking tips. Are you taking notes?
Hey Calvin, thanks for taking time to speak to us from the Athletes’ Village. We know you’re training hard for Team Singapore’s Relay 4 x 100m Finals of the Asiad later at 6.45pm. What are your thoughts going into the games at Incheon this time?
Hi! Yes it’s intense and the atmosphere leading up to the relay finals later is great! I hope to be able to achieve our team’s best and am going all in with a goal to focus and give it our all. I’m soaking in every moment!
Calvin Kang in action!
Exciting! Curious question, what goes through your mind when you’re at the start line before a race?
I try not to think about anything – calming my mind helps me relax and is key in doing my best. I get on the track with the mindset that I’ve trained well and hard, and it’s now time to put it all into good use.
Who or what motivates you during those physically and emotionally-challenging trainings?
What motivates me is the goal is to always push my limits each training. I aim to keep improving and to keep getting stronger, be it physically, emotionally, or mentally. I thank God for the countless opportunities to be able to get back up and running whenever I’m down. I am fortunate that I have a talent and gift, but I know that I need to put in the hard work to maximize my potential.
On the topic of races, what’s one most memorable experience for you as a professional athlete?
My most memorable experience has to be starting the same race as Usain Bolt at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games! I remember every detail – moving from the warm up area, to the call room, right down to the actual race. Walking and sprinting with the best was absolutely sensational.
We can only imagine how that must have been like! Alright, we have a confession to make… we’ve done a little stalking and noticed quite a few acoustic videos on your Instagram feed. You’re quite the performer! Tell us more.
Thank you! I like doing covers on my guitar, and love songs with meaningful lyrics. Music heightens my senses, yet calms me down at the same time. It’s really therapeutic.
Tell us more about Calvin Kang off the tracks!
As an aspiring serial entrepreneur, I like to get involved in many activities and take on different types of challenges. Starting a business has its obstacles, I’m still learning as much as I can. I participate in many different aspects of building a business that range from marketing, HR, consulting, operations, training, budgeting, accounting etc. This is something I love doing and the passion that drives me in my business pursuits are parallel to the essence of my sport! In sprints, for a 10s performance, you put in hours a day, weeks, months, years just to shave that mere few 0.01s of your race time. It is the same for running a start-up. Challenges and obstacles are but a part of my daily experiences, but it is those same things that toughen me up and make me who I am today.
We think you’re quite the fashionista too. What are some of your go-to fashion labels? How would you describe your style?
I like minimalist. My go-to outfits are short sleeve shirts and cropped pants, but definitely something more formal for my Sunday best! I also enjoy experimenting with loud colours for my pants.
Professional track and field must take you traveling quite a bit. What is the first thing you do whenever you get back to Singapore?
Hope this is not TMI but my first stop is to head back home for a nice bath. Fun fact: I have a semi-spa machine in my bath tub! The DIY bath/spa works wonders especially after training sessions or long flights where my body is aching and I just lie and rest for a good 30 minutes.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re back home in Singapore?
I love driving around and finding new places every time I’m back home. There’s always a new cafe or something different to do!
We also noticed you are quite the selfie pro. Can you share a good tip for taking a good selfie?
I love taking photos! Selfie 101: Always take from a higher perspective, it’s definitely more flattering and gives depth to the surroundings.
Calvin Kang #selfie at the Games
What do you have to say to your younger aspiring athlete counterparts out there?
Do not give up on your dreams just because you do not see the pockets of success happening right now. Always remember to take time out to pace yourself – it also works as a good reminder to see the bigger picture. Let passion take the lead!
Thank you for your time Calvin, and all the best to you and #OurTeamSG at the relay Finals later! Find out more about our track and field athletes here, and follow Calvin on Twitter and Instagram @frappecal 😉