Wing-Lock Wei 韋榮洛: Tennis star

By York Lo

 

 
 
 WL Wei, Technique 1919. Courtesy MIT Archives and Special Collections.

WL Wei, Technique 1919. Courtesy MIT Archives and Special Collections.

Wing Lock WEI (1892-1935, Class of 1918, Electrical Engineering)

was born and raised in colonial Hong Kong, the scion of an influential business and political dynasty. A gifted athlete and scholar, he was the Chinese national tennis champion in 1914 and was one of the first engineering graduates of the University of Hong Kong in 1916 before matriculating at MIT. At MIT, he was the captain of the tennis team which beat Harvard and he also won the New England intercollegiate lawn tennis double championship with H. Brockman. After studies at Cambridge and volunteering for the YMCA in Europe, he returned to China to pursue a career in banking but found greater success representing China in international tennis tournaments. He represented China in the Far Eastern Olympic Games held in China and Japan in 1921 and 1923, in addition to serving as the captain of China’s Olympic Lawn Tennis Team in 1924, making him one of the first Chinese athletes to participate in the Olympics. In 1925, he was the captain of China’s first Davis Cup team. Wei then chose to remain in America, where he re-invented himself as a writer on Chinese topics for leading English publications such as Outlook and Reader’s Digest before his tragic drowning death in New York in 1935.  



SOURCES:

Technology's war record: an interpretation of the contribution made by the Massachusetts institute of technology, its staff, its former students and its undergraduates to the cause of the United States and the allied powers in the great war, 1914-1919 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Alumni Association. War records committee; Ruckman, John Hamilton, ed

THE STRAITS TIMES, 2 JUNE 1914, PAGE 10

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1924/4/7/chinese-tennis-captain-likes-stiff-competition/

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Broadcast-Weekly/1932/Broadcast-Weekly-1932-03-06.pdf

The Stanford Daily, Volume 88, Issue 1, 24 September 1935

http://stanforddailyarchive.com/cgi-bin/stanford?a=d&d=stanford19350924-01.2.99

AUTOPSY REVEALS WEI WAS DROWNED: BUT INQUIRY FAILS TO DISPEL MYSTERY OF TENNIS STAR'S DEATH IN THE HUDSON. CRIME MOTIVE LACKING CHEMICAL EXAMINATION SHOWS HE WAS INTOXICATED -- FRIENDS SCOUT SUICIDE THEORY.

NEW YORK TIMES, 24 SEP 1935: 2;

WEI, DAVIS CUP STAR, DIES HERE MYSTERIOUSLY; BODY OF MISSING CHINESE FOUND IN HUDSON, NEW YORK TIMES23 SEP 1935: 1; “HONG KONG BOY FOUND DROWNED: WEI WING-LOK DEAD IN AMERICA” HONG KONG DAILY TELEGRAPH, 24, SEP, 1935

CHINA'S FIRST DAVIS CUP TEAM ALSO WILL PLAY IN OLYMPICS, NEW YORK TIMES06 APR 1924: S4.

Leaders of Commerce, Industry and Thought in China, 1924, p 380
http://mhdb.mh.sinica.edu.tw/mhpeople/bookimage.php?book=52&uuid=23E184B2-FD71-70AA-A099-9E15F5984E10

Who’s Who in China 1931, p 433

http://mhdb.mh.sinica.edu.tw/mhpeople/bookimage.php?book=61&page=433