Best Octogenarian Badminton Player - 2009
The comedian Alexei Sayle once said, "You can't fight City Hall, but you can crap on the steps and then run like mad." Apparently, you can do both, and Ed Leong is living proof of it (at least the fighting part). When the city imposed a $4 fee on badminton players in January — while basketball and volleyball players on the same court played free — the 87-year-old Leong got mad. The retired S.F. building inspector besieged Supervisor Carmen Chu until she met with him. He subsequently organized City Hall sit-ins and led a media assault via the Chinese-language press. Finally, the $4 fee was abolished in favor of a dollar charge for anyone using the court. Leong's victory over the city earned him a writeup in the Wall Street Journal in March. "It's gratifying, because our voices were unheard," he says. "I hate to say it, but as an Asian group, we have to squawk a little bit to get the oil, I guess."