Last month, Andong Song made history when he was picked by the Isles in the sixth round of the draft, becoming the first-ever Chinese-born NHL draftee.
And now, he’s kinda famous.
Song has been named an ambassador for Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics bid, per CCTV, and this week was in Kuala Lumpur to promote the bid along with another fairly famous Chinese athlete — former NBAer Yao Ming.
“After hearing the idea I was very excited. It’s a dream for any athlete to compete in Olympics, and it’s a special honor to be able to do it in your country and the city you grow up,” Song said. “So when I first heard the idea that China will put in a bid, especially Beijing, I was really excited and I felt I have the opportunity.”
A native of Beijing, Song moved to North America at age nine and was picked by New York after he captained the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey during his senior campaign.
He also captained the Chinese team at the 2015 U-18 World Jr. Championships (D-II).
It’s not surprising he was looped into the Beijing bid. NHL participation for future Winter Olympics is hardly a sure thing — NHLPA boss Donald Fehr did say recently that players want to go to Pyeonchang in 2018 — and hockey in China become increasingly popular in recent years.
This spring, CCTV (the Chinese state broadcaster) sent a seven-man crew to cover the Chicago-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Final.