Sunday, August 24, 2008

End of Beijing Olympics

Just watched the spectacular closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on TV an hour ago. I was really impressed with how the Chinese managed the whole event. They really did a great job from clearing the pollution, organising the games, the opening and closing ceremonies, etc. "Well Done, China!!!"

I spent quite a bit of time on TV this year watching the games and I'm always lookout for sportsman from Singapore and their respective results. Our Team Singapore accomplised 2 outstanding performances this year. First is Tao Li who finished 5th in the 100m butterfly event and the Table Tennis girls winning Silver for the Team event.

I was having lunch in the coffeeshop last week and I overheard 2 uncles talking quite loudly over coffee. "The Xiao Long Nu (Dragon girls) are quite good har. Singapore buy them over and win the Silver." The other uncle replied, "Ya. These China Girls are really good".

I think its rather hard for some people to accept that they are true Singaporeans. Frankly, when I was watching the Prize Presentation Ceremony for the Table Tennis Team and the National Anthem of China was being played, I wondered how does Li, Wang and Feng feel? I imagined myself to be a Chinese National but hearing Majulah Singapura. Somehow odd because I knew deep inside me, I'm a Singaporean, with all my friends, loved ones here. Won't they feel the same like me?

Singapore brought all these foreign sportsman to our homeland specifically for the purpose of someday bring pride to the Country in major sporting events. These players know they can make a lot of money if they succeed. They become Singaporeans for this purpose. Our government knows that our people may never see sporting excellence with true Singaporeans.
If Singapore never dangle a single carrot, I doubt any sportsman from anywhere will come and treat this country as home.
I'm happy for Team Singapore performances. I'm happy for the Silver medal won but I'm surely not as thrilled if I'm able to see a true Singaporean on the Olympics podium one day...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is a dream to be able to buy a gold medallist. The reason is simple. Gold medallists have qualities that Division 2 and 3 do not. For example, gold medallists are very hardworking, have great perseverance, spent all their available time practicing etc. Division 2 and 3 medallists will spend time shopping for designer bags, engaging in other frivolous past times. This is why Gold medallists are Gold medallists. Zhang practices while Li shops. Zhang will not leave her home country for money because she believes in playing for her homeland. She has all the right values, that is why she is champion.
The other thing to note is the way our ministers and leaders heap praise on Li and her team even though they did not win the gold medal. This may work for certain cultures but since they are from China, the players there are certainly not being heaped with praise when they falter, instead they will be taken to task. Therefore it works better for them as the fear of failure is a greater motivating force in China's work culture than praises.
I think Singapore should spend more time and resources to nurture its own homegrown sports talent. It will take more time and effort but it is well worth it in the long run.
Taking short cuts are also not the hallmark of true champions and it applies here equally to our foreign sports imports as well as those who make the decision to go this path. This is the singular most important reason why if we choose this path we will never get a gold medal. Remember, the true gold medallist Zhang did not take the shortcut to fame and fortune. Her face tells it all.