I got inspired to write this post today when my mum came across an Instagram post, which I believe was from a Hong Kong reporter, who’s currently also writing about the Rio Olympic Games on his Instagram page. Without further ado, this is his post:
I believe that many of you are like me, and you’re not sure what he’s saying. My mum translated the article for me and I strongly feel that this is an article we all can learn from, so here’s the translation:
(Inspired by Ye Shi Wen to write this)
There are many respectable heroes in the battle field, especially when races are running and medals are continuously won. but do you know that there is a lot to learn besides winning and losing?
For these past few days, I’ve been following the performances of the Hong Kong team, China team, and even some of the world’s greatest swimmers. However, nothing beats the experience I had just awhile ago.
4 years ago, Ye shi wen was a double Olympic champion in the 2012 London Olympic Games with the World Record in the 400m Individual Medley and Olympic Record in the 200m Individual Medley. But as we all know, good things don’t last. There were some complications with her which lead to a decline in her times. The former champion experienced a plateau in her performance while she saw everyone overtaking her. If you’re a swimmer yourself, I’m sure that you’ll be able to feel the pain that she’s feeling. I’m not 100% certain about this, but I’m sure that many of you would have given up if you were facing the same problem as her. But she fought on, and earn her spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sadly, things didn’t go her way in the 2016 Rio Olympics, she tried her best, only to finish 17 seconds off her personal best time, which placed her 27th in her 400m Individual Medley.
Next up was her 200m Individual Medley. I was lucky to be able to grab her for an interview after her 200m Individual Medley race yesterday after she placed 4th overall after her semi final swim, and she was really friendly when I interviewed her. She said that she physically and mentally did the best preparation she could, and placing 4th going into the final really boosted her overall morale after her upset in the 400m Individual Medley swim. She mentioned that there were many strong competitors in the field. Everyone is hungry for a medal, which makes it a really competitive field, so she will just do her best. I wished her luck and we concluded the interview.
I watched her race from the mixed zone the following day, rooting for her to win a medal. However, she had a really slow start in the Butterfly, and at that point in time, I knew the race was over. I saw the scoreboard and her time was 4 seconds slower than her semi final time, and I was pretty shocked.
I waited for her at the media zone, hoping that she will accept another interview with me. I wasn’t very hopeful as I’ve observed Ning Zetao and Sun Yang ignoring an interview with the media after their bad races. But to my surprise, she walked up to me with calmness and composure. She told me that her goggles filled up with water when she dived into race. At that point in time I wanted to scream my lungs out as I was really sad for her. But Ye Shi Wen said that it’s her fault, and she bears full responsibility for it and completed the race anyway.
Swimming is such a brutal sport – The many hours spent training your heart out, overcoming various obstacles just for that very moment, to only end up with a bad race. That has really left me speechless.
It’s always nice to celebrate when you win, but can you accept failure when you lose? She was really gracious with her defeat, and I have my utmost respect for her.
Even though you are no longer the world champion, but in my heart, you are already a champion.
Forgive me for my bad writing, even though you may not understand this, but I do, and I hope you do too.
Kudos to you Dickson Yu, your article has indeed inspired me as well. I think we can all learn from Dickson’s character, and the way he writes. He must have probably huddled with all other reporters in hope to churn out a good report as well; and he certainly did. He was able to turn a negative experience into a positive article, and that to me is what differentiates a successful reporter from a mediocre one.
I think we should all be focusing on the positives – Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen just made SINGAPORE HISTORY by making Semi Finals at the Olympic Games, and this is already huge progress for Singapore Swimming. No male swimmer has ever made it to the Semi Finals at the Olympic Games, and now we have TWO swimmers who achieved that feat, so there is already a lot to celebrate!!!
Congratulations guys! Thanks for flying our flag high at the international stage, we are all already proud of you both.
Another point I would like to address – Athletes who are visibly upset may find it hard to consolidate their thoughts for an interview, which is why they prefer not to be interviewed immediately after an upsetting race, as they need some time to cool down before being in the right shape of mind again.
Imagine training countless hours just for that race, only to know that you’ve messed it up the most important race of your life by just a bit, and if you didn’t mess up, you would have qualified for the finals. How awful is that feeling?
Dickson also mentioned that successful swimmers like Ning Zetao and Sun Yang also rejected their interview request after their bad races, so I guess even the most successful swimmers find it hard to handle a bad race as well.
Come on, we’re all human after all, and we have emotions as well.
It’s really commendable that Dickson understands how an athlete feels after a bad race, which is why he didn’t expect Ye Shi Wen to be so calm and composed after her race, because he was expecting her to reject his interview too.
His focus was not to blame Ye Shi Wen if she didn’t want an interview with him after her 200m Individual Medley race, and he just wanted the best for her.
He must have followed athletes for a very long time to understand the pain and sadness an athlete may potentially feel after a bad race, which is why he was even surprised that Ye Shi Wen accepted the interview graciously.
Gosh, mad props to you Dickson.
As the Olympics are not over, I’m sure that we can learn from Dickson’s positive attitude together and unite as one Team Singapore and maintain our positive spirit for the remaining days of the Olympic Games. Come on guys, it happens once every 4 years, so there’s no time to be negative about it.
At times like these, these athletes need our support the most, so the last thing we need now is negative publicity for them.
Lets all unite as ONE TEAM SINGAPORE, and cheer on the remaining swimming race that Singapore has, which is the 100m Butterfly for Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen today at 1:16am.
GOOD LUCK JOSEPH AND ZHENG WEN! WE ARE ALL BEHIND YOU 🙂
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