By Yeap Ming Liong
The Malaysian contingent ended their recent campaign at the SEA Games in Cambodia with 34 gold medals. This is six medals short of the target. It would be naïve of me to say that there are no negative comments and jeers regarding our showing at the games, making its rounds on social media, and everyday coffee shop talk.
This has to stop. Do not just cheer and support our athletes only when they bring home medals. Support them all the way. That is the least that we as fellow Malaysians can do. Instead, lend them your encouragement and support in these trying times for them to soldier on and to do better during their next outing.
It is not wrong to aspire for the gold medal. However, do not create a negative atmosphere just because our athletes failed to meet the target. It is talk like these that are fruitless and serve no constructive purpose.
Focus on the positives as the national contingent did in fact take home 34 gold, 45 silver and 97 bronzes; and that is a feat in itself.
Now, the process to the final of any sporting event requires countless hours of preparation, training and sweat. We must credit the dedication, hard work and merit of every athlete and the supporting force behind them ranging from coaches, admin and support staff, who carry the Jalur Gemilang on their jerseys.
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 an athlete’s skill and talent. Please respect and honour this fact. Our athletes were seen waving the Jalur Gemilang during the closing ceremony of the Cambodia SEA Games. This in itself serves as a clarion call for all of us to stand in solidarity and display patriotism for our beloved country.
I would like to urge and encourage all Malaysians to remember and honour our national contingent athletes, coaches and support staff as they are not only a representation of Malaysia’s finest but they represent Malaysia and what brings us closer. They represent our collective national pride, unity and above all patriotism.