Monday, August 6, 2012

The Reason Why

For the first time in 52 years, Singapore got an individual Olympic medal. China-born paddler Feng Tianwei won the bronze in the table tennis women’s singles competition for Singapore and this was the first time Singapore was awarded an individual Olympic medal since 1960 when weightlifter Tan Howe Liang got a silver medal at the 1960 Rome Games.

However you won’t find too many Singaporeans celebrating in the streets. Most Singaporeans are indifferent to the medal and according to a local poll on Yahoo!, a whopping 77% said that they are proud of the Olympic medal.

Now some people are wondering why this is the case. I mean an Olympic medal for the country is an Olympic medal for the country, no matter where the athlete was born right? So why aren’t the people of Singapore proud of it?

In one word; embarrassment!  

For years, the Singapore table tennis team has been called the China B Team; Singaporeans has been mocked that our medals are made in China; Singapore has been told that we should thank the Embassy of China for winning us our sporting titles (swimming, table tennis, badminton etc).

Now Singapore is a small island and if there’s one thing Singaporeans don’t like, it is been laughed at. Worse is when the guy laughing at you is telling the truth. It’s no secret Singapore has been importing athletes into Singapore for sporting glory; to their credit the Singapore Table-Tennis Association has been very open about it. 

All credit to Feng Tianwei for winning the bronze. It’s a great achievement and I believe it is something to be proud of but I am also realistic. I don’t expect Singaporeans to be jumping for joy for her when she returns from London. We are too embarrassed to be caught celebrating.


Anonymous said...

Spot on!! And it embarasses me furher to see the length in which the ST tries to drum up support for the win, conveying the impression that many people are happy with it, the dissenting ones are the minority and the ones with the "problem". Sheesh... !!!!

Contrast that with the pride I (as a Singaporean who's just a neighbor of Malaysia) feel about the Silver medeal the Malaysian guy won in yesterday's singles badminton.

Kaffein said...

One sentence that sums it all:

China 1 Singapore 0


PS. I cheered for the Malaysian guy Lee in badminton. I would have been so proud if I was a Malaysian.

Anonymous said...

And they say we have no pride in our country...

sanzhi-laohu said...

I hope you were embarrassed when Singapore won the ASEAN cup for soccer too. I hope the angmos import did not make any different in your embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Singapore won ASEAN cup for soccer with an entire team of angmo imports.

sanzhi-laohu said...

I rest my case. Hypocrites!

Ghost said...

Yes I was ad I wasn't the only one. You don't see too many Singaporeans saying we are the best in South-East Asia, do you? Even back then when we won. Almost our entire midfield and attack were imported so most Singaporeans have mor sense than that.
Still I do believe a bronze in the Olympics is something to be proud of. Ms. Feng should be proud of it; tt's just that Ms. Feng should not expect Singaporeans to share in the joy as much as her. If she do, she is going to be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

How to feel proud about a medal won by a foreign import? At least during the Malaysia Cup, most of the players were locals.