Letter: Support our athletes the whole way

Our national athletes will once again battle against the world’s best when they compete in the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo. I am sure everyone will be fixated about the prospect of our athletes bringing back gold medals in the respective sports we are competing in. It will definitely be a breath of fresh air in the midst of our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would like to remind everyone that it is not wrong to hope for the gold medal. However, please do not create a negative atmosphere if things don’t work out. It would be naïve of one to say that negative comments and jeers do not exist in our society. I have seen it before in past Olympics and major sporting events where the public take to social media to pass judgments and unkind comments about our athletes.

It is talk like these which can break down a man—or in this case, an athlete. The journey to the finals of any sporting event requires a huge amount of preparation, training and sweat. The dedication, hard work and merit of every athlete must be given credit. At the very least, pride and honour is all one athlete has to his or her name.

Any victory or defeat in sports regardless of discipline is a display of one’s skill and talent, and this must be honoured and respected.

Now, our flag bearers will hoist the Jalur Gemilang during the games’ opening ceremony in Tokyo, and let me remind Malaysians that our contingent is not only a representation of Malaysia’s finest, but it stands for pride, unity and above all, patriotism.

Our athletes are also facing another threat in the form of the COVID-19 virus. So, while we hope for their glory at the games, please also keep them in your prayers and thoughts for them to have a safe journey and a safe return.


Yeap Ming Liong

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