Olympic fever is still lingering but for most Malaysians, we will forever remember the day 5 August 2012. It was a day when an entire nation anticipates it’s first ever Gold medal from none other than our ever reliable sportsman Lee Chong Wei.
By match-time, many restaurateurs will tell you that there were minimal crowd in their restaurants unless it’s those outlets with screens. Myself and wife are no exception. We had our earliest dinner ever, at 5.30pm so that we can be home early to be ready to soak ourselves in the excitement.
Tick-tock, Tick-Tock, match time arrives. The roar of Malaysians can be heard everywhere as we supported our Malaysian player, Dato Lee Chong Wei. His nemesis Lin Dan is not any ordinary competitor. He is probably one of the best player ever produced by China but we are not overawed. We trusted in our player who has throughout his career shown his determination and commitment.
Lee Chong Wei would have missed Olympics 2012 because of ankle injury but lo and behold, he recovered on time. As soon as the match started, we knew immediately that we will not be disappointed. He fought tooth and nail for every point. We cheered at every point won. We prayed. We shouted. We sighed. Almost every expression known to humankind was on display that evening.
First game went to Lee Chong Wei at 21-15. The entire nation held it’s breath believing that winning the gold was inevitable. Unfortunately the 2nd game was not to be as Lin Dan won. There was a vast difference in this match. Compared to the previous Olympics, this time round Lin Dan was definitely frustrated. Lee Chong Wei was matching him stride for stride and point for point. Even Li Yongbo, the chinese head coach looked worried.
The 3rd game aka rubber set came. We sat glued to the TV, refusing to even answer nature call :p . It was an epic battle. Towards the end Lee Chong Wei was only 2 points away from history but lady fortune was not with him.
End of story, the medal was won by China but Lee Chong Wei won the hearts of a nation. Keep in mind that he just recovered from an ankle injury and also played thru the entire match with painkillers. Thru his display and burning desire to make a nation proud, he had brought a nation together. There was differentiation in races, age, etc….only Malaysians. Malaysians talked about the match, about Lee Chong Wei, about his character, etc. There was so shame in not winning.
Lee Chong Wei, you owe no Malaysian any apologies. We Malaysians owe you a debt of thanks. We are super proud of you. There is nothing more precious than to have a nation unite in one belief. We are truly anak Malaysia.