Mark’s story is inspiring and motivating. As a Brazilian of third-generation Chinese ancestry, he grew up in a very tough neighbourhood in São Paulo. He immigrated to Canada with his family in the early 1980s and settled in Hamilton, Ontario. His parents were merchants. He experienced racial discrimination and bullying as a child, and as a result, he enrolled in Taekwondo-Do to protect himself and ended up earning a black belt that led him winning championships for Brazil’s National Team. Mark is also a skateboard enthusiast, who can still manoeuvre through a skateboard park.
As a Masterpiece product of the Brazilian melting pot, Mark describes himself as having a Chinese mind, Brazilian soul and Canadian heart.
Chinese tea planters were sent from Portugal to the Royal Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro in 1814. Chinese labourers from Canton, California and other Latin American countries were contracted by the Brazilian government in the 1870s, and then Brazil continued the commercial contract with China from 1880 to 1881. The Asian Brazilian population in Brazil today is estimated at approximately 2 million.
Mark describes himself as a sports fanatic, an athlete who plays and coaches soccer, volleyball, and basketball. He is a long-time community volunteer and very much involved in sports as a coach, administrator, and director. He initiated the idea of the multi-sport complex. He also had the privilege to work on international sports games such as the Commonwealth and Pan Am Games locally and worked at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Mark is a volleyball coach for the Ontario’s regional team and International Children’s Game. They will be competing in Hungary in 2020. He is also instrumental in creating the partnership between YMCA Hamilton and YMCA Sorocaba, in the state of São Paulo.
With all these accomplishments in sports and community involvement, it is no surprise that Mark Wu is a member of the Hamilton 100 Committee, who are hoping to use the city’s connection to the games’ 100-year anniversary as potential leverage to bid to host the Commonwealth Game 2030. Hamilton hosted the first version of the games in 1930, which was called the British Empire Games and held in the Hamilton Civic Stadium, in what is now Tim Hortons Field.
Construction in the plan calls for a massive overhaul of Bayfront Park which would transform that space into an island for triathlon events. The idea would also begin much-needed environmental remediation of an area plagued by blue-green algae pollution.
They also intend to take this opportunity to create projects, environmental projects, affordable housing projects, other social impact projects, and support a “clean and green” sustainable community under the umbrella of the Commonwealth funding proposal.
Mark is the business and marketing director at 2Gen.Net; a full-service digital media company with international experience in developing and designing sophisticated mobile and website applications and strategies.
His priorities in life are family first, his business, employees, clients, friends and community.
His retirement plan is to continue helping the community and people, particularly children experiencing social disadvantages, both in Canada and Brazil.
Thank you, Mark, for contributing to every aspect of Canadian society, from literature to sports, politics to civil rights, film to music, business to philanthropy, and education to religion.