Commentary

Asian Games: Listen up kids, Singapore athletes have tales to tell

In his evocative book Mountains Of The Mind, Robert McFarlane tells a tale about a climber John Dennis who is trying to explain, in a letter to a friend, the unique sensation of traversing a rugged landscape. Dennis writes of walking "upon the very brink" where destruction is a stumble away and describes it, in part, as a "terrible joy".

It is a feeling that Singapore's athletes will appreciate because this is precisely where they lived at the Asian Games. Their skill on the brink, their senses alert, perched so delicately between failure and success that one awry pellet will send them into nothingness. Their destruction will only be figurative but it can be devastating.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 02, 2018, with the headline 'Listen up kids, Singapore athletes have tales to tell'. Print Edition | Subscribe