Singaporeans are terrible at sports. I think it’s a combination of our own peculiar history, our focus on academic and material success and our own small gene pool. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. If you ask them, I imagine that the majority of Singaporeans would say it is the right choice to focus on economic success.
Now that we’ve reached a certain stage in our country’s development, people want to achieve other forms of success too. That is why our young people take time off to pursue the arts, or extreme sports, or to discover themselves. I applaud that.
Singaporeans would like some recognition in the sporting arena too. We took the path that other countries (US, France, UK, etc) have taken, which is to have home grown athletes as well as imported athletes. Our imported athletes are much more successful (of course! if you want to import, then you should import good ones). Our home grown athletes take some time to catch up, but I think they eventually will, because we are determined bunch.
Understandably, some Singaporeans have trouble relating to foreign-born Singapore athletes. We had no problems with Tan Howe Liang, although he was born in China and migrated here. I was cheering on Ang Peng Siong when he competed, as well as all our footballers (who never fared well, but we loved them anyway). Nowadays, some find it odd to cheer on people who look and sound different from the traditional Singaporean. For example (as has been pointed out in this thread), the foreign born athletes should adopt Singapore names. That would help.
Integration a two-way street. So those people on either extreme end of the spectrum should try to give the other side a chance, and understand their views.
My generation was and is very kiasu. We are concerned about paying off our mortgage, providing for family and retirement…
The younger generation is less materialistic. I see some of them taking risks, doing things which may not make money. They are more idealistic, so I have hopes for them – those who are good at art, or sports, or who want to do work for society (which may not pay well).
The thing about sports is that one has to start from young, and it requires two things: a talented kid and a lot of parental or governmental support. We may have talented swimmers, or archers, or sailors, but the parents and the authorities have to be very committed and organised too. In the past, we may have had one without the other. One day I hope we will have both.
by a netizen
- Torture or training? Inside the brutal Chinese gymnasium where the country’s future Olympic stars are beaten into shape