6/18/15

Foo Lee, A Chinese laundryman "Lance Armstrong"?

Most Chinese laundrymen probably did not have the time, skills, or inclination to compete in bicycle races but in 1897 Foo Lee of Niles, Michigan, not only competed against "Americans" in a race but he beat them handily.  The New York Times article concluded: "Sporting men are trying to induce Foo Lee to give up the laundry business and devote himself to racing."

News of Foo Lee's feat was spread across the country in newspapers in large as well as small towns across the United States.  Many of the headers referred to him as "Chinaman" and some had a condescending tone such as "No More Washee."
There was no further news about Foo Lee and subsequent cycling triumphs so it might be assumed that he resumed his occupation as a laundryman in Niles, Michigan after his brief moment of "Linsanity."


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