Appreciate the hard work behind the glory

Basketballer Wong Wei Long (in white) had to juggle studies as well as training.
Basketballer Wong Wei Long (in white) had to juggle studies as well as training.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

AMID the euphoria, let us appreciate the hardship behind the success of Singapore's SEA Games athletes ("Friendship the biggest winner at the Games"; yesterday).

Our athletes put up a marvellous display at the 28th SEA Games. Singapore performed exceedingly well, especially in swimming, table tennis and bowling.

Over the past few years, Singapore invested a lot of resources, planning and preparation for this biennial sporting event.

Our hard work has finally paid off and we now reap the benefits.

I commend our athletes for their immeasurable sacrifices.

The amount of strenuous training they have undergone over a protracted period of time is indeed admirable.

This entails much discipline, mental strength, perseverance and good attitude.

Most of our athletes are either semi-professional or amateur.

One particular athlete who deserves mention is Wong Wei Long of our men's basketball team.

He constantly had to juggle university studies, running his own basketball coaching school and training arduously for this SEA Games.

He has amply demonstrated his indomitable spirit to overcome all challenges.

He and his teammates managed to win the bronze medal, maintaining the success of the last SEA Games in 2013.

However, one should not be blinded by euphoria after winning every gold medal.

We should delve deeper to empathise with the amount of effort, pain and hardship behind every success.

Singapore should take comfort in the fact that it managed to clinch second place in the overall gold medal tally, trailing behind only veteran SEA Games champion Thailand.

For a small country with approximately five million people in total, this is by no means an easy feat.

I trust that Singapore would continue to nurture and produce more of these sporting talents in the years to come. Singapore athletes have done us proud.

Teo Kok Seah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2015, with the headline 'Appreciate the hard work behind the glory'. Subscribe