Lucas Geller, owner of the Chinese Martial Arts Academy in Colonie, was among 35 American athletes and more than 20 of the top wushu (literally martial arts) champions from China’s national team who performed at the United Nations on August 18th. The event, with the theme “Peace, Friendship and Health”, marked China’s 40th anniversary as a member of the UN.
Some 1600 people from diplomatic missions and other invited guests watched the two hour martial arts performance in the General Assembly. Among those in attendance were world famous actor and kungfu film star Jet Li, the UN Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro, film director Ang Lee and Weng Min, the Chinese ambassador to the UN.
It was a riveting two hour performance in which some of the best athletes in the world showed their skills in highly choreographed routines. With dramatic lighting and music, the athletes flew through the air with power and grace to thunderous applause from the audience. Wushu is the national sport of China.
Geller, who grew up in Hillsdale, NY, and began training in Albany in 1999 with well known area coaches Jiang Jianye and Lu Yuzhi, was one of three USA National Wushu Team Athletes to perform a solo routine. His high flying broadsword routine was flawless and drew high praise from the Chinese team.
“It was the thrill of a lifetime”, recalls Geller. “To be on the same stage and meet Jet Li and to perform with all of these great athletes from China was just incredible”. Lucas, who is fluent in Mandarin, became a host to the Chinese team and quickly formed many close friendships. They had previously put on a show outside of Washington DC to a sold out auditorium at George Mason University.
After the show at the United Nations, Lucas was interviewed on the three major Chinese networks. His performance and interviews were broadcast throughout the country.
“I got a call from a Chinese friend of mine”, laughs Geller, who said “Hey Luke, you’re famous! My parents just saw you on TV in Beijing”