2020: The Year of Covid-19

Global Pandemic Impacts Dragon Boat Community

by Ligaya Jakmakjian, November 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic changed our season dramatically.

We started the year with a well-attended Season Opener at Naples Rib Company and successful adoption of a new Board of Directors. Our last official practice was March 7th, as Coronavirus sent shockwaves not only through the paddling community, but to everyday life as we all knew it. Dragon Boat paddling for most of the country was on hiatus until the end of the year, and our scheduled races canceled. Nonetheless, the team stayed connected with the community and each other. Seeing how each paddler adjusted his mindset and overcame personal challenges during such a tumultuous year showed that the LARDStrong spirit never dies (or catches the flu)!



LARD never cancels a good party. Sorry, Corona!

We waited. We worked. We quarantined. We found ways to Celebrate.

2020 Awards Banquet: November 14th via Zoom! Honorable Mention: TK Kimura, ALS Ambassador.

TK Kimura Documentary Video TK Tribute

Dragon Boat Weddings:

Taylor Mar and Catherine Nguyen, Jom Thaipejr and Sarah Leung.


All we wanna do is a-Zoom-Zoom-Zoom!

Coach Taylor Mar led numerous Saturday morning workouts via Zoom. No rest for the paddling community!

LardCORE workout

Paddle Out days: LARD stayed true to our community commitment. Our Stand Up for the Cure fundraiser not only raised money, but got us out on the water for a good cause!

Stand Up for the Cure Event

OC2 training: Thanks to our trusty OC2, paddlers were able to sign up for some water time. For many of us, this was our first time in an outrigger canoe!

OC2 Facebook


LARD stayed busy by arranging weekly workouts to stay moving, and challenging the team with a different focus activity each month. Challenge Winners:

Push ups: James Yu, Bill Ting, Ligaya Jakmakjian, Vivian Lezak

Squats: Cheryl Schmid, Laurie Myers, Bill Ting, Alex Lingad

Sit ups: Bill Ting, Alex Lingad, Cheryl Schmid, Laurie Myers

Burpees: Bill Ting, Charles Murakami, Laurie Myers, Cheryl Schmid

Jump Rope: James Yu, Bill Ting, Laurie Myers

Running: Angel Garcia, Keith Kimura, Cheryl Schmid

Jumping Jacks: Charles Murakami, Alex Lingad, Cheryl Schmid

Yoga: Bill Ting, Alex Lingad, Cheryl Schmid

When there is a will, there’s a way -

Although we were saddened by the inability to get on the water, we supported each other and the community during this time of uncertainty. LARD proudly raised $1500 for the Stand Up for the Cure event, and many LARDies showed up (in PINK, of course!) to paddle for the cause.

Being stuck at home didn’t prevent us from connecting! Again, Virtual Zoom meetings and OC2 outings kept us busy while we continue to look eagerly towards our next practice. We never thought that bringing up the boat or doing hit drills would be so missed!

2020 brought us a global pandemic that is still impacting us, social upheaval with the George Floyd protests, jaw dropping fires, and political polarization. It also brought an historic presidential election, paradigm shifts, racial and social awareness, a Lakers win, a Dodgers win, and a reason to continue to be thankful for our health, our friends, and family.

From the Directors to our LARD family: Thank you for your patience and perseverance, and embodying what it means to be LARDStrong!

2020 Leadership:

Diane McCabe - Leon Cheng - Ligaya Jakmakjian - Vivian Lezak - Taylor Mar - Betty Chang Laurie Myers - James Yu - Keith Kimura - Jose Mejia - Jennifer Ben - Christina Checel - Alex Talactac


Los Angeles Racing Dragons Foundation

©2024 Los Angeles Racing Dragons Foundation