Wednesday August 8, 2012
Celebrate indomitable spirit of shuttler Chong Wei
IT’S indeed sad to see reports of a manifestly devastated Lee Chong Wei “apologising” to all Malaysians after his hairsbreadth-close, but bravely fought, loss to his long-time nemesis, China’s Lin Dan, at the London 2012 Olympics.
Malaysians, from our leaders to the person-in-the-street, tweeted in turn, pouring out sympathy and thanking Lee, who many praised for playing his best and giving us much to be proud of.
Lee owes none of us an apology. Few have fought harder for so long, at the pinnacle of the sport, with a string of such high calibre opponents.
Chong Wei has established himself as currently one of the two best players in the world and possibly among the all time greats of the game.
Lee is our only Olympic double silver-medalist, among the five Olympic medals that Malaysia has won since our first foray in the Olympics in 1956 – three silvers and two bronzes.
But, much more than all this, add a mixture of disappointment while, at the same time, extolling one’s prowess, let’s truly fulfill our promise to celebrate Lee and what he has achieved.
Many pledges and offers were made of millions of ringgit, in cash and kind, if Lee brought home our first Gold medal – he didn’t. But he proved beyond any doubt his outstanding ability and indomitable spirit which has brought us, time and again, immense satisfaction, cheer and pride.
Let those pledges and all that was planned to celebrate Lee not be withheld and lessened in their significance.
Instead I would, in all earnestness, suggest that Lee be honoured by making him a part of disbursing these pledges, in cash and kind, to worthy causes, for instance to initiate or strengthen support for our young and upcoming sports stars - with Chong Wei as a role model and mentor.
Another way, would be to give a part of those pledges and offers to the needy and less fortunate, especially the young and children among them, who could also meet Lee, one of our national heroes, as they might not even know of him or have had the opportunity to watch him play. RUEBEN DUDLEY