August 08, 2012

Am I disappointed?

Last Sunday evening, like most Malaysians (especially the badminton fans), I was stuck in front of the TV watching the 2012 Olympic badminton men single finals  … and like everyone else, I was at the edge of my seat as “kan cheong” (excited) as I ever was … cheering, shouting, grumbling, muttering and almost screaming throughout the entire 3 games. I watched every second of the final … seeing how Lee Chong Wei tried every possible way he could, giving the very best that I have ever seen of him … but it was not his day.

So am I disappointed when Lee Chong Wei lost? I want to ask … did he lose? From my point of view, NO … instead, he WON … he won the silver medal. I may be frustrated, excited, anxious, nervous, restless and worried during the entire final but I was never disappointed. The medal may be silver but the focus, the commitment and the determination that he displayed was definitely a GOLD performance.

YES, he did not win the gold medal but his attitude won the hearts of not just the Malaysians but many people from other countries as well. Yes he cried … there is no shame at all and he tweeted … “I am sorry” … he doesn’t need to apologise. Let me say this … “Datuk Lee Chong Wei, you have shown us what a great sportsman you are … I salute you !!!”

I play a fair bit of competitive games (more when I was younger) … like people say “win some, lose some” … winning is the aim but nobody is guaranteed of a victory … all we have to do is to go out and do the best that we could … that is the commitment we need to realize.

On second thought, I may be disappointed … not sure about others, but I detected a note of arrogance by Lin Dan when he won the match. I am disappointed to see the arrogance displayed … not just in this match but in many other matches before this. Some may say that it was a show of confidence but from what I see, it was an obvious show of arrogance. Look, I am not jealous of Lin Dan’s victory because I am a Malaysian … really not at all. Let me say this … showing a bit of humbleness won’t make you any less a winner. 

Maybe the Chinese player can reflect on one of the famous contentions in ancient Chinese history ... the Chu-Han Contention at the end of the Qin Dynasty between the skillful but arrogant General Xiang Yu and the humble Liu Bang. Though Liu Bang was not as skillful and powerful as Xiang Yu but his humbleness attracted many intellectuals, strategists, scholars and brave men to his side especially Han Xin, the General who helped him defeat Xiang Yu (in the famous battle of Gaixia) and made Liu Bang the first emperor of the Han Dynasty.

Yes, Lin Dan won the gold medal with his skill, ability and maybe a bit of luck but it was Lee Chong Wei’s attitude that won the hearts of the audience … in the arena, in Malaysia and around the world.