The Olympics has captivated the world over the past three weeks with humans performing superhuman sporting feats.
These athletes train at the highest levels to qualify amongst the world’s best. Then they proceed to push each other and the boundaries of their sport during the actual competition.
Being an Olympian requires great resilience and determination with preparations beginning years ahead. In the four years leading up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, shooter Jasmine Ser’s routine was mainly eat, sleep and shoot. “There was nothing else I wanted to do. Nothing else mattered other than how I can improve my performance,” she said.
Some athletes juggle intensive training on top of work or school. Tokyo Olympics rower Joan Poh did just that when she answered the government’s call for frontline medical reinforcements. Working as a nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital meant that she had to wake up at 5am to train before her 10-hour shifts. Once work was done, it was back to the gym for a second training session. “In a time of pandemic, going back to work felt like a calling,” she said. “When I’m at work, I’m 100 percent a nurse. When I’m training, I’m 100 percent a rower. It’s always about finding that balance and making it work.”
For many athletes, their Olympic story is about bouncing back from failure. Singapore’s first representative for Marathon Swimming, Chantal Liew tried out Marathon Swimming when she had failed to qualify for the SEA Games 200m backstroke. Transitioning from a pool to the open water was daunting but she persevered and won a bronze medal at the 2017 SEA Games en route to the Tokyo Olympics. After completing her race this week, Liew reflected on her swim and Olympic journey, revealing her resilience and can-do spirit: “Sometimes your best is not good enough, sometimes it is… but you live and you learn”.
We may not be champion swimmers or sharpshooters but we all face competition in one way or another. Our athletes show us that we need resilience, dedication, and determination to keep bouncing back in our personal Olympics: the journey of life. #TeamSingapore #OneTeamSG #OneDaySG