All In The Campaign for Blair Academy 2018-2025
Matthew Tung
Matthew Tung ’19 Powers toward Victory
Adele Starrs

Blair’s Matthew Tung ’19 made international headlines recently as the first athlete to represent Hong Kong in Olympic-style weightlifting in more than a decade. Making his professional debut at the Asian Championships in Uzbekistan in February 2024, Matthew clinched fifth place in the 96 kg. division, Hong Kong’s highest placing in the competition.  

“This competition was a good step for me and Hong Kong. People know we have a team now,” Matthew told the South China News. 

Matthew’s journey into competitive sports began during his first year at Blair, sparked by a YouTube video that introduced him to Olympic-style weightlifting. Under the guidance of his advisor, Blair biology teacher Joe Wagner, and aided by online tutorials, Matthew soon began refining his skills. Within a year, he was regularly lifting close to a combined total of 400 pounds over his head and winning his first competitions. When he turned 16, Matthew participated in an international competition hosted by weightlifter and U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Cheryl Haworth. When Matthew won and Cheryl encouraged him to turn professional, a dream was born.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in health science from Northeastern University, where he founded the school’s Olympic-style weightlifting team, Matthew returned home to Hong Kong in 2023. Eager to continue international competition, he approached Hong Kong’s Weightlifting and Powerlifting Association (HKWPA) with a proposal to represent the region in the Asian Championships. The HKWPA agreed but stipulated that he must fund the trip himself. Without having sponsored an Olympic-style weightlifter for more than a decade, the HKWPA lacked a uniform to provide for the competition. With characteristic determination, Matthew accepted the conditions and, borrowing an officially branded Hong Kong football uniform from a friend, brought home the win.

Today, Matthew is lifting combined totals of over 600 pounds regularly and has acquired a competition coach. He balances his training regimen during lunch breaks and evenings with working as a research assistant for sports medicine at the Hong Kong Sports Institute. His talent and dedication have earned him well-deserved accolades. “As a part-time athlete with minimal support, Matthew has reached a level where he can lift with some of the best in Asia,” his coach, Mike Wong Ho-yin, told the South China News. “It is an incredible achievement.”

Matthew, it comes as no surprise, remains focused on the future. “I’m aiming to go to the Asian Championships again next year and the Asian Games in 2026.” All of us at Blair wish him the best!

News Headlines