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Place for Asian Iron Man's burial not yet decided

Place for Asian Iron Man's burial not yet decided

With Asian Iron Man Yang Chuan-kwang’s passing away in California on Saturday local time, funeral arrangements for the great sports man are under negotiation between his family and Taiwan’s authorities. Rafer Johnson, Yang’s athletic archrival and good friend, has paid his respect to “the man who may be the greatest athlete of all time.”
Yang, once a UCLA track and field star, died of complications from a massive stroke, UCLA spokesman Marc Dellins said Sunday. Yang was 73.
Yang took the silver medal in the Rome Olympics, with UCLA teammate Rafer Johnson winning the gold.
"Taiwan has lost someone who may be the greatest athlete of all time, and the rest of us have lost a great friend," Johnson said in a statement released by UCLA.
"I had a competitive career with C.K. [Yang] that lasted over a number of years and he was always the most prepared, the most competitive and one of the smartest athletes on the field of competition."
Johnson said he became a better athlete because of Yang.
Although the competition between them was fierce, Johnson said, "I was always a little ambivalent in my feelings in terms of how bad I wanted to win when I competed against him because he was such a good friend of mine."
After ending his competitive career, Yang served on Taiwan's Olympic Committee and spent time there each year helping develop the Olympic program.
Yang was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2001 and had been receiving treatments from Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital for the past six years.
His attending doctor Chen Chao-lung said Yang’s liver cancer had been brought under good control after a hepatectomy. Chen remembered that Yang, looking great with red complexion, chatted with him cheerfully the last time he came for treatment. Chen was surprised that Yang, suffering from chronic liver diseases, died of stroke.
Yang is survived by his widow, Daisy, and sons Cedric and C.K. Jr. Funeral arrangements are pending, but Yang had hoped to have his remains buried at the national track and field training center in Taiwan.
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang, who thinks Yang was a big hero of the country, said he had assigned the National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to form a funeral committee to help take care of Yang’s funeral and give him due honor.
Chi Cheng, Taiwan’s first women Olympic medallist, urged the government to consider to enshrine Yang in the national Martyrs' Shrine for him to be remembered for his achievement forever.
Secretary general of the funeral committee Tsai Hsih-chieh, said Daisy had originally planned to hold Yang’s burial in southern California close to where she lives so that she could visit her husband’s grave often.
However, after listening to some advice, Daisy is considering burying the funeral in Taiwan, where Yang belongs to, but is not opting for Taitung, his hometown because it is far from everything, Tsai related.
Tsai said the committee had recommended Yang be cremated in the US, and promised to hold a grand memorial in Taiwan to honor him and his friend Johnson among others to the memorial, adding that the sports authority would also shoot for his enshrinement in the Martyr’s Shrine.
There are technical problems to overcome if the burial is to be held in Taiwan, especially finding a right place for the interment in a couple of days, before Yang’s body has to be moved out of the hospital within six days of his death, Tsai said.


Updated : 2021-05-16 05:53 GMT+08:00