Hooray to Li Jia Wei and team for Singapore’s Silver! :)
Yesterday I happened to watch this documentary titled “Little Big Dreams” on Channel News Asia (CNA). It was about the journey of 4 kids in China on their way to being Olympians clinching the gold medal. 2 of them were 2 boys aged around 9, Zeyang and Xurui.
Both of them attend a gymnast school where they are put through hours and hours of training, where then they will train for the provincial competition, where then those who get through will get a chance to train for the Olympics.
The upsetting thing, to me, was that both Zeyang and Xurui did not even want to be Olympians in the first place. Their family are the ones who want them to be top-notch Olympians.
Interviewer: Do you enjoy training for gymnastics?
Interviewer: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Zeyang: A professor.
So sad la there was one scene where he almost cried during training coz it was too hard and another scene where he called his sister to tell her that he missed her. He’s been away from home for 6 years coz the school is far from his home, his family visits often.
Sister: Just now mummy visit, you didn’t tell her? (That he misses his sister)
Zeyang: No.. coz later mummy will be worried.
Once Xurui even cried and called his family to take him back because of the competitive training. But his family, who is poor and is pinning all hopes on him, didn’t want to. They had sacrificed time and money just so Xurui could go to gymnast school. He had to be carried from the roadside all the way back to school coz he refused to go back.
His family kept saying, “We want him to get the Olympic gold medal..”
As much as it is a parent’s dream to want the best for their children, it got me thinking, is it fair to pin down everything on that boy? Does it matter if he doesn’t like it? Obviously not. Furthermore the coach gave him extra tough training coz he was the weakest among the other students.
Xurui kept saying, “I have trained here for so long, but I am still here. I have let my family down.”
And he is only 9 years old.
Then there is one 8 yr old girl who was training for gymnast also, she was very spunky with short hair and very cute!
She wants to be a world champion and don’t mind the tough training. But when they interviewed her coach, he said, “Her proportion is not appropriate for Olympic gymnastics. She is not petite enough.”
I was like, Whoa..?! Felt like slapping that guy. So what now, even if she trains hard and qualifies, she can’t get through just because she’s not petite enough?
Can you imagine how many of them are training right now just to get a chance to win that one and only gold medal? Only the best of the best will survive. They have to be the best of the best in their country, and China has a population of nearly 300 times of Singapore. If you’re not good enough, bye bye Olympics.
The coach emphasized, “In chasing the Olympian dream, only one can be the winner.”
No wonder so many of them don’t mind playing for other countries.
What will we be without them.