The Tokyo Olympics finally came and went. Our national athletes trained endlessly but winning was elusive. Now that the dust has settled, we relook at our athletes, how they performed and insist that we will still stand proud of them.
Here are the medals that they deserve.
Medal for resilience
Jonathan Chan and Freida Lim are our first divers ever. Freida’s Graves’ disease diagnosis meant she had to switch endurance-based competitive swimming to diving. While Jonathan felt that ‘he could have done better’, he felt it was ‘within expectation’. Fellow natural swimmer, Chantal Liew, was a backstroke swimmer who later changed to marathon swimming in 2017.
Resilience means being able to adapt when your plans do not go the way you intended.
Medal for positivity
Up next, another first for Singapore were our Olympic fencers, Amita Berthier and Kiria Tikanah Abdul Rahman. Amita tackled her fencing training head-on by moving to the USA alone for full-time training with her late father as her inspiration. At the same time, Kiria honed her skills in a small local fencing studio. Both did well for a first.
“Even though… I was quite disappointed with the end of the second match, I have to focus on the positives, which is how I kept calm during the first match, especially, when I was down, and how I slowly picked myself up and maintained my composure.” – Kiria with CNA
Pairing up with her leggy friend, Caroline Chew and Tribiani qualified for horse ballet for the first time. However, their journey was cut short due to bleeding in Tribiani’s mouth. Caroline though disappointed in how it ended, chose to see the bright side.
“I would say (it’s) quite miraculous we got her anyway. It was great and I felt really humbled and privileged to be the first Singaporean at the Olympic Games for equestrian.”
Positivity is the hallmark of champions.
Medal for Growth Mindset
Disappointment was a feeling felt by our athletes especially Joseph Schooling, Singapore’s first gold medalist in the 2016 Olympics. Fellow swimmer, Quah Zheng Wen, says he has no excuses for his performance but both men are refusing to let these setbacks stop them, as they look forward to perfecting their training further. Joseph schooling said that though he was disappointed, it is not the end of the world. There will be other games and he will reset and come back with a plan.
People like Schooling with a growth mindset do better than most others with a fixed mindset. They believe that every experience is a learning opportunity and that they will continue to grow, learn and be better the next time around.
Medal for perspective
With a culture that is immersed in FOMO (fear of missing out) and Kiasu (fear of loosing). Our athletes are truly the roll models that we need as they show us not only how to accept failure with grace and dignity, but also how to keep a better perspective of competition and a better shade of life.
Do you know of anyone struggling with negative feelings of failure? Share this article with them and send them a note to encourage them.