After Dato’ Lee Chong Wei won the first set against Lin Dan convincingly, everyone of us thought today might well be the day that Malaysia finally wins an Olympic gold medal. But there was always a small doubt within the minds of those who has been following the sport of badminton consistently. The true Lin Dan reveals himself once he’s thoroughly warmed up. Lin Dan controlled the pace in the second set completely and despite Lee Chong Wei’s great effort in the rubber set, it was a heart-breaking dejavu in the end. Malaysia’s highest chance of gaining the gold is now lost.
However, Lee Chong Wei has won something more priceless than a gold medal and a place in history – the hearts and unity of the Malaysians. Regardless of race, regardless of which political party we support, regardless of ethnicity – every single Malaysian was behind him. For once in long time, we all truly had a thing in common. We all stopped what we were doing to support and cheer for him during the final. From how I see it, “LCW” is a more of a Malaysian unity symbol than anything else. And it wasn’t just because he reached the final, it wasn’t just because he’s a great player, it wasn’t just because he’s our only hope to get the gold. It’s also because he has a natural humble personality and attitude, an example that everyone in the world should follow, regardless of what you do in life. It makes people want to like you and root for you.
|Everyone at the Curve crowded up Laundry Bar to watch and support Lee Chong Wei during the final match viewing organised by Samsung.|
I personally felt that one of the factors of it being a really tough match for Dato was that most of the players are right handed. Every player is used to playing against a right handed opponent. It’s tough to play all the way to final facing right-handed players after right-handed players before going up against the really good left-handed Lin Dan. This might be the final Olympics for both of these players and there might never be a greater badminton rivalry than this. Lin Dan is blessed to have Lee Chong Wei to play the “villain” in his successful career.
Not sure if the apology on Dato’ Lee Chong Wei’s Twitter was posted by him personally or by his agent, but he never needed to anyway ’cause he didn’t owe us anything. He brought Malaysia our first medal in Olympics 2012 and we should be proud of that instead of taking it for granted. Even if he couldn’t get a gold medal as a player, I’m sure he’ll probably try to get one for us as a coach in the future. He still has a long road ahead and we all hope he’ll wipe off those tears, look up ahead and keep on walking for himself… for us, Malaysians.
Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, thank you. It’s only a disappointing result. You didn’t disappoint us.