July 19, 2004

Sports in Malaysia

Throughout my slight hiatus, this has remain in my mind. And its a mind boggling one. As the Olympic Games draw closer in Athens and we're being lambasted with promos for it on TV, touching it may be some of these promos, I can't help but feel something is seriously missing. Our country have not won any! Don't give me this bullshit about our badminton team grabbing some. Badminton don't give you worldwide recognition despite what some people may lead you to believe. You might as well put in "lepaking" as one of Olympic sports if you want to count badminton as having won some medals. But seriously folks, where are (is) the talent for "serious" sports like athletics, swimming, gymnastics and other events that do garner worldwide audience? Are we one of the few countries in the world that pride ourselves in having a government department that supervises all sports in the country who have yet to win a single Olympic medal worth mentioning about? What answer do you give to foreign friends who asked you our country's greatest achievement in sports? Exactly. None that crosses your mind in recent years let alone since we gained independence.
So, what is going on here? Should we get rid of those VVIP in the sports association in order to move forward? But then again, these people pulled in much needed funds to run the associations. I believe, certain sport associations are not short of fund to develop its respective sports let alone run it. Back to badminton for example; this association certainly do not lack patronage nor sponsorship. They have a big pool of players I heard but why the heck are we still known as "jaguh kampung" (home winner)? Where is the Thomas Cup which is the holy grail of badminton that we have not won since err...we last won it at home?!
And don't get me started on football. We pride ourselves in having one of the best organised league in the region. We were on par if not better than countries like Korea and Japan in just over 20 years ago. Where are we now besides languishing in the bottom of the FIFA world ranking lower than even our "enemy", Singapore?
What does it take for us to win an Olympic medal? When can I stand up in pride (and probably crying) over our national anthem being played during a medal presentation in the Olympics? I guess it certainly won't happen in this year's game. Meanwhile, I'll just sit back and enjoy the game and perhaps cry over the fact that some tiny island nation winning a gold.
I wonder how many people that can be saved from the Ah Longs using the money to send the entire Olympic contigent.

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