Olympic athletes have to train every day and night for that gold medal. Michael Phelps was in the pool training every single day. Whether he was sick, whether it was winter, whether it was a public holiday, he was in the pool.
But in the Olympics no matter how hard you train, there can only be one winner, and one who falls short of the expectations.
It’s all over the news.
Lee Chong Wei loses epic badminton battle to Lin Dan, forfeiting Malaysia for the only hope of a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics.
I’ll be honest. I’ve never watched a badminton game in my life.
All week I’ve been hearing about this match that’s going to win Malaysia a gold medal, which would then bring us a public holiday and national pride.
Last night as I was walking along Petaling Street, I heard the massive roar of the crowds. Out of curiosity I went to see what all the fuss was about. There must’ve been about 30 people gathered around a tiny television set all staring at two men both representing their countries in a match that could bring the highest honour.
Every time CW gained a point, the crowd would go wild. And every time Lin Dan gained one, the boo’s were deafening.
Chong Wei was in the lead but right at the end, Lin Dan over took him and just like that, it was over.
The first thing CW’s coaches did was to run to him and hug him.
I felt a surprising pang of pity for him even though this was the first time I’ve ever seen CW play.
All I could think about was how much pressure was on this 29 year-old to get the gold.
Malaysians are famous for putting pressure on their kids.
That’s why the suicide rates for high school students are highest right after the SPM results.
There was a girl once who committed suicide because she got 9 A1’s and 1 A2 instead of 10 A1’s.
The country had put all their eggs in one Chong Wei. Saying things like, ‘He’s our only hope.’
When he lost, he tweeted an apology.
I was all, “What in the blue **** is this?! Why?! Is he high on crack?!”
Out of 28 million Malaysians, he was the one out of the masses to bring our country to the finals and win the silver medal! And he did it with a previously injured leg!
I love how Wikipedia puts it.
“…making him the most successful Malaysia Olympian in history”
ESPN commentator had this to say of him: “Lee Chong Wei is such a great guy, but Lin Dan is a bit arrogant. Skills win you medals, but attitude wins hearts.”
I can’t imagine how it feels.
To have so much pressure to not let your country down.
To have the entire nation riding your back to win them a public holiday and free dessert.
To know this was the last time for any redemption because you wouldn’t be coming back again.
To stifle the urge to choke at the last minute.
To face an opponent with a fugly moustache and not break concentration.
The media was in his face so much that even if he wanted to be emotional, he couldn’t have his privacy.
I say, congratulations Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, we’re all so proud of you.
We’re sorry we can’t hear your unnecessary apology over the sound of every single Malaysian SCREAMING AND CRYING HOW PROUD OF YOU WE ARE.
On a related note: I had the misfortune of letting a team down yesterday. It’s a dastardly feeling. Thinking you could’ve been better. Re-thinking what you could have done differently. Thinking to yourself, ‘If I love and am so committed to building this team, why do I do things that tear it down?’
It’s not about people forgiving you, sometimes it’s just hard to forgive yourself when you know you could’ve been a better woman, who made better choices. I wanted to quit yesterday. I’m just tired of falling short of expectations. Tired of giving excuses for my shortcomings.Tired of telling people, “I’m just going to let you down one more time because I’m not quite there yet.”
I just wanted to quit. It’s easier when there are no expectations to live up to. Because then no one can say they expected better.
But then I know that’s not the right thing to do. I know that I’ll have to just work harder to do better. Da*n conscience.
I’ll get there. One day. One day I’ll stop letting people down. For now I’ll just
mope around and curl into a ball of self-pity pray harder for God to change me into a more punctual responsible woman. I’ll just have to pick myself up, slap my face and get to work.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray…
It’s really inspirational to read that despite the injuries and the pressure, LCW would be competing for Asian and the Commonwealth Games in the coming years. Now that’s what I call resilience.
On a side note: Was tremendously privileged to spend time with my spiritual parents last night in Petaling Street for the first time.
Thinking of: That awkward moment when Lin Dan won but Chong Wei is trending on Twitter, burying myself, PASTOR MARK AND NINA IN MALAYSIA, how it’s not going to work out if I’m late and unprepared, how Chinatown looks exactly like every other corner in Malaysia, hugging that little chinese boy, finally finishing my paintball video, how hard it is to look you in the eye now and if dancing was an Olympic sport, that gold would be mine.