Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Next up on visualizAsian: Ada Wong, inspirational finalist from “The Biggest Loser” Season 10
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Next up on visualizAsian: Ada Wong, inspirational finalist from “The Biggest Loser” Season 10

Ada Wong, befor and after "The Biggest Loser"

We weren’t regular viewers of “The Biggest Loser” until last fall’s Season 10, because of Ada Wong. I read an interview with her in the Pacific Citizen and some blogs, and Erin tuned in to the show. She got me to watch On-Demand and we were hooked.

So we’re honored to be able to host Ada Wong as our next guest on She made it to the finals of “The Biggest Loser,” and along the way lost 99 pounds and regained her relationship with her hard-ass Asian parents. She’s an incredible inspiration for Asian Americans.

Our one-hour live conversation with Ada will be on on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 7 pm PT (10 pm ET) — just register for the call and you’ll receive the call-in information for our conference line, and the URL for the Webcast. As always, you can submit questions for Ada before and during the show via our Webcast page.

UPDATE: Sorry, you’ve missed the live Feb. 1 conversation with Ada Wong. But you can still register for the next 30 days to listen to the archived MP3 recording of the show!

If you’ve tuned in to a visualizAsian show before, you don’t need to register — you’ll receive the login info in an email reminder. If you’re new to visualizAsian, welcome to our 2011 season! We interview Asian American Pacific Islander leaders and newsmakers on a telephone conference call (long distance charges may apply) and Webcast (always free). Our goal is to inspire all AAPIs to find your voice and follow in or guests’ footsteps.

Ada was truly an inspiration during “The Biggest Loser.” Alone among the contestants, she didn’t have the support of her family. Several episodes of the series focused on her relationship with her immigrant parents, who were very critical of her growing up, and unlike every other contestant, refused to send in a video greeting urging her on. They criticized her weight and even blamed her for her brother’s drowning death when she was just a child.

Despite of these challenges, Ada excelled in the show, and worked hard to lose weight.

She also showed a selfless generosity, even allowing another contestant to win a car in one challenge even though she was comfortably in the lead, because he needed the car more than her. She also won a marathon race handily during the semi-final episode, and now is planning to run the Boston Marathon.

In the end, two men won ahead of her because they came in with much more weight, and the winner’s chosen by percentage of body weight lost during the season. But she won back the love and respect of her parents following a powerful on-camera confrontation, and now she’s an inspiring role model for Asian Americans everywhere.

Here’s NBC’s official bio for Ada going into the season:

Ada has struggled with her weight her entire life, and was shy growing up in Gilroy, Calif., with her younger brother and parents, who emigrated from China. Ridiculed about her weight and with no encouraging and supportive people around her, she turned to food for comfort. As she went through her school years, her personality blossomed and she excelled as a student. Her hard work continued at the University of San Francisco, where Ada earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on international business. Now 27 years old and 258 pounds, Ada hopes losing weight will allow her to feel more confident, feel good about her life and finally be happy. She looks forward to shopping for clothes when she loses weight, as well as snow boarding, rock climbing and even running a marathon.

There’s a lot to talk about post-Biggest Loser, not just what she’s up to (she quit a job as a programmer at Google), but also because of the “Chinese vs Western Mom” parenting hubbub earlier this week. She certainly knows a thing or two about strict Asian parenting.

We’re looking forward to having a terrific conversation with Ada, and hope you’ll join us!

Remember, you can still register for 30 days to listen to the archived MP3 recording of our talk with Ada Wong!