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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Watch why we should support Malaysian athletes (medal or not)

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Watch why we should support Malaysian athletes (medal or not)

We’re not crying, you’re crying

Text: Natalie Khoo

Image: Loic Venance / AFP via Getty Images
Image: @dhabitah_sabri / Instagram

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been a gruelling journey for Malaysian athletes in more ways than one. These videos show why we should support them no matter what the medal outcome

(Update: 8 August 2021)

On the final day of Tokyo Olympics 2020, our national "Pocket Rocketman" Azizulhasni Awang races his way to attain the silver medal in the men's track cycling keirin event. In an interview with Astro Arena after receiving his prize on the podium, he reveals that he had to brave through both news of his father's mild stroke and his wife entering the hospital in order to focus on his performance at the Olympics and deliver a medal for Malaysia. Watch the interview below.

(Original article: 2 August 2021)

Nine days of the Tokyo Olympics have passed, with the start of a new week underway before the closing ceremony takes place this Sunday. As of the time of writing, Malaysia ranks 73rd on the Olympic Medal Count out of 206 participating countries, thanks to the bronze medal from men’s doubles shuttlers Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik on Saturday.

While we celebrate the pair’s historic achievement, let’s not forget the efforts of the rest of our Malaysian athletes who have also participated at the Games—whether or not they brought/bring home a medal.

It’s easy to feel disappointed whenever Malaysians miss the mark for a spot on the podium, but no one else is more wounded than the athletes who trained so hard to get to the Olympic stage themselves. After all, many of them have dreamed of that day since they went pro; some as early as childhood.

These Malaysian athletes have suffered countless injuries and mental obstacles, on top of sacrificing time away from loved ones and physical barriers to training under the weight of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not to mention, the fate of the Olympics was still highly debated up until days before it commenced, due to concerns over the Delta variant and rising Covid-19 cases in Japan—raising the stakes for the hosting country and all contingents involved.

With the uncertain economical and sociopolitical climate back home, there’s arguably never been more pressure on our athletes to deliver some good news to the jaded Malaysians than at this Olympics.

If all of the above circumstances don’t speak for why we should support our national athletes no matter what, perhaps these heart-wrenching video interviews will (caution: prepare tissues):

Cyclist Datuk Azizulhasni Awang, after receiving the silver medal in the men's track cycling keirin event:

Diver Nur Dhabitah’s response to finishing 4th in the finals: “I’m really proud of myself because these past few months were really hard for me.”

High jumper Lee Hup Wei’s heartfelt apology after an early exit in the qualifying round moves reporter Bazly Azmi to tears:

Men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia, after losing to China’s Chen Long in the Last-16 round: “It’s a long journey for me.”

[READ: 7 Things to know about Malaysian Olympic badminton player Lee Zii Jia]

Women’s singles shuttler Sonia Cheah, after her defeat to Thailand's Intanon Ratchanok: “I’m sorry to my family, my friends and all my fans that supported me.”

Gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi on her Olympic debut: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete here and I really did my best.”

Diver Wendy Ng Yan Yee on finishing 20th in the 3m women’s springboard event: “I’m sorry, I really think I could have done better.”

Mixed doubles shuttler Goh Liu Ying on her resolve to continue her Olympics journey despite having multiple injuries: “It was my father’s dreams.”

Men’s double badminton players Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, on winning the bronze medal:

True Malaysians are proud of all of you for your unwavering spirit and inspiring sportmanship. Well done, Olympians!

#GanbatteMalaysia #SokongMalaysia

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