History was made at the Rio Olympics as Singapore won its first gold medal. Joseph Schooling has been widely celebrated, and rightly so.
However, we would be missing the woods for the trees if we only celebrate the win.
For every race in the public eye, our national athletes like Schooling clock thousands of hours of training – they fight through pain, fatigue, discouragement and injury behind the scenes.
Hadrian Ro is one such athlete. And as a national student athlete who represents Singapore in canoeing, sporting glory comes at a heavy price as he juggles full-time studies with the demands of competing in the sporting arena.
This is what we should celebrate. This is what we should honour: Sheer grit and gumption; pure passion and perseverance; deep desire and dreams.
For this is the crucible where medals are forged; here is where champions are made.
And if we as a nation honour the will to fight over the win, then we will have more champions – and yes, more medals – in the years to come.