The Cynicism of the 250k Bronze Cookie

On the 1 Aug 2012, Feng Tian Wei, the Singaporean but China-born paddler won a historical bronze medal in the table tennis women’s singles match at the London Olympics for Singapore.  This is Singapore’s first table tennis singles medal, and the first win in the bronze medal match in four attempts.  It is also a long awaited 52 YEARS as Feng is the only Singaporean to win an individual medal other than weightlifter Tan Howe Liang, who took home the silver medal at the 1960 Rome Games.  Amidst the many cheers and jubilation amongst many Singaporeans, there were no lack of naysayers, who would insist a stab of realism on their fellow countrymen.

People say we should put all these resources to train our “native” Singaporean sportsmen!  Well said, I too, look forward to the day a “native singaporean” gets that cookie on stage.  But before we get there, look who we are up against.  Do we train like them?  Do our kids have the must do it mentality?  

Would u let your kids train like this at such a young age?

Read this to find out how they produce the medalists, albeit emotionless ones.

8 or 10×7, no social life, no facebook, no parental expectation must do well academically, no emotions, theres only 1 focus, to get that medal of their life.  IT takes a whole societal and paradigm shift!  Looking at  pampered singaporeans, I do not think many are susceptible to changes, much less a shift. And of course when u see such a photo, you wonder……about physical training for the maid, of course !Maid carries NSman’s bag??

Some say we should just participate for sportmenship, dont always talk about winning.  The realities of professional sportsmen and artists are similar.  You can spend your entire life training, but if you are not TOPs, you are OUT.  But unlike artists, who could use their entire life to work for a break, for the professional sportsmen, its even more cruel.  They have a limited shelf life.  Yes, for many, its THE MEDAL of THEIR life!  250K, probably the yearly price of 2 pencil pushing junior bankers, but how many bronze cookie achievers run around on the streets of Singapore everyday?

WE started since the early 80s, if money could buy success, while Singapore was having success in so many other areas, why didnt money buy us success earlier in the sports arena?  No…clearly, the imports did not guarantee success!  The systems and models needed that many years to fine-tune to have a tiny weeny bit of success, even with imported raw talent.  Let’s not forget Feng started out ranking 73rd in 2007.  Did people seriously think we bought a custom made Ding Ning?

Online, one cannot celebrate the small little break through our country has made, without being faced with ugly xenophobic remarks.  During the malaysia cup days in the 90s, there were Abbas Saad n Alistair Edwards, FTs, who had contributed to Singapore winning the Malaysia cup and there are also FTs in our football team, why are there no complains?  Because Angmos are better and Ah tiongs are no good?  Someone was damn proud of Mr Tan Howe Liang for being the “true” Singaporean who achieved the other medal.  Eh…that someone, Mr Tan was born in Shantou, China, LOL! Another FT? What a messy FT immigration story!

The truth is, we are all immigrants, my dad was from Shantou too!  So what?  We are such a young country, we only need to trace 1 at most 2 generations back to China, India, Malaysia etc.  What is the big deal?  Your father, my father, Mr Tan Howe Liang , Feng Tian wei, all chose this place to call home, and had contributed to Singapore in 1 way or another.  I dont see any differences, why cannot extend some graciousness?  Some question she comes here to dig gold then return?  Its a hypothetical question until it happens.  People are quick to point out the failed cases, but have forgotten her coach, Jing Jun Hong had settled happily here.

Some belittled Feng’s win, some Singaporeans actually supported Japan, just because Feng was born in China.  What defines a Singaporean? One who would not support Singapore in the face off with outsiders?  Come on, Feng fought with an iron will, never give up spirit, thats what i would rather define Singaporeans to be, rather than some no back bone, muddled up haters.  I m not a Feng fan but I always enjoy watching her play. She has this really really cool demeanor about her , cool but deadly focus to fight n win.  Frankly, other than the fact she’s not born in Singapore…everything else, she’s a perfect exemplary of what a professional sportsperson should be and can be a role model for many of our young aspiring sportsmen.

Finally, u haters, be comforted!  Going forward, my guess is that its going to be more difficult to get good raw imports.  China is not dumb, US, UK and many stronger countries are all competing for talents, Feng is not getting any younger, the rest are even older!!  Until then, hopefully, our local material are spurred and motivated enough by the tiny successes to train really hard and level up to continue A legend, and not just a one time spark, like 52 years ago.

by a netizen


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