Asian Games 2018: Jakarta & Palembang, Aug 18-Sept 2

Asian Games: The other side of the medal

Honest and brave, swimmer Roanne Ho talks about insecurity, depression and the humanness of athletes amid their struggles

In the quiet dawn, she began to write. Light had barely arrived in Jakarta but Roanne Ho, 25, couldn't sleep. In her backpack was her Asian Games 50m breaststroke silver medal, won the night before. Still in its case. Medals represent a 31-second race but she was reflecting on a longer, complex journey.

That journey is what Ho wrote about in a Facebook post which has been shared almost 600 times and should be read by anyone who cares about athletes. It is raw, revealing, generous. It is about being heckled by doubt and the leak of self-esteem. It is about the other side of the medal where insecurity lurks and the other side of the toned champion where the person lives.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2018, with the headline 'The other side of the medal'. Print Edition | Subscribe