Inspiration for our little red dot

Weekend had been awesome, I woke up sat morning to see Singapore win its first gold medal at the Olympics! Then popped back to bed until Babyboo came over and the ruckus in our home started. Mom taught him to wave the flag at the TV, finally a gesture of more productive use – she had been teaching him to wave the flags since election last year.

Family chilled out, and we went on a fact-mole-ing spree of J Schooling. I had not been into the Olympics much this year (too self-absorbed in self-centred problems, tsk), despite following anything to do with water and flexibility in all olympic games prior. I was wayyyyy more into following sports when in Oz than in Sg or Cn. Read statuses and thoughts on Facebook, and suddenly got flooded with emotions as I read fellow classmates and seniors’ words. The ultimate culmination from all these social media and media info comes in four simple words: Inspiration | Commitment | Determination | Support.

It really takes inspiration, and I believe this young man has shown it to us, that this can be done. He had the guts to strive to be like Phelps! We are too used to benchmarking and case-studies in our education system, maybe? And that fear of failure if we benchmarked too high and not make it? Courageous boy who is unafraid to be inspired and aim for the best. My fact-mole-ing exercise dug back to his interviews, and I am really inspired by the young man’s words and perspectives, it highlighted so much and lit a warm little light within that I would only dare to keep them as a dream, instead of reaching for it. (Albeit my sis says it’s PR really well-done).

Since young, we have always been taught to weigh out pros and cons. Since young, we have been taught to weigh them out so we know what to invest in, i.e. where to put our priorities. Since young, we have been brought up that sports is something we can try for, but that studies are more important cos it is what will bring us a good job to carry us through old age. As a senior aptly put it “our system stifles and limits our growth so much that many talents are misplaced and misguided.” With academic achievement always being the prerequisite for any other pursuits, how does anyone put full commitment into a sport? Or a craft, or any passion in life?

The video that touches my heart is the interview with his parents. So much words of wisdom from his dad, and the love and support from both parents. It is their belief in their son that gave us our olympic champ. How many in Singapore are wiling to let their children pursue what they love? How many trust their very own offspring to achieve what they can? How many just keep warning their children to be more down-to-earth, and that dreams are just lofty ideals? Well, snippets of interviews also showed more little figments that reinforce the two earlier – he has his granduncle as an inspiration, the first olympian for the little red dot, and of course the genes; and that his parents did send him for bone test, and predicted his potential in getting into the olympics (though not venturing further into prediction of a podium position). It all fits the picture~ the ingredients to making a champion.

And the biggest personal lesson for me is actually determination. It ties with commitment, yet it is somewhat different. There is so much to learn, I look back to my youth and think of all the potential I had walked away from, for all the abovementioned reasons. I am so thankful of his win, it is like a message from above saying that we can all do it. We can all do it in our little ways. We do not need (nor do we have the ability nor is it our path) to be an olympic champ to taste success. But success comes to us in different forms, yet the factors to lead to it is firstly the talent and passion which only ourselves know, and then all the other four factors to bring us to that point.

I feel so touched, and I am so happy for his win, not just for the gold accolade per se, but for the inspiration I hope it brings to our kids and fellowmen.

Next question will be whether to go wave the Singapore flag at the airport. 04:30am, mind you. Hah, this sentence is a perfect example of commitment or a lack thereof. 😉

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