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News  7, Aug 2012

My takeaway from Lee Chong Wei’s defeat

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Yesterday was a dark day for all Malaysians. Malaysia’s Olympic gold medal hopeful, Dato Lee Chung Wei who managed to dominate his way through the badminton finals was crushed by his arch enemy Lin Dan, by a mere two game points.

The score of the game was 21 – 15, 10 – 21, and 19 – 21. Dato Lee is well respected by all Malaysians as he puts the country’s name onto the international arena and is the country’s only hope to win a gold medal in the Olympics. While he managed to clinch the silver medal, there are certainly some takeaways from the finals.

You might have lost the title, but you won the hearts of millions

During the finals, Dato Lee fought relentlessly against his arch-enemy Lin Dan and put up a good fight. It was during the one-hour competition that we saw the 1Malaysia spirit, where Malaysians of different nationalities and races came together to cheer and root for the glory of our country. The supports for Lee from Malaysians were evident across the various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. While he might have lost the Gold medal, he definitely won the hearts of millions and we saw the different races came together as one. To all Malaysians, he is our champion.

Olympics 2012 twitter

Practice makes perfect, but you can never be fully prepared

Another lesson that we can take away is, one can never be fully prepared. This applies to competitions, business meetings, interviews, school examinations as well as all things in life. We can have all the practices and preparations in the world, but we can never have enough preparation for the actual thing, as there might be other circumstances that cannot be anticipated. Dato Lee could have practiced everyday, but he certainly did not practice against Lin Dan, the best of the best. Ultimately, everything boils down to not only constant practices and preparation, but also a stroke of luck. As Peter A Cohen beautifully puts, “there is no one giant step that does it, it’s a lot of little steps and sometimes a stroke of luck.”

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again

Lee faced off with Lin a total of four times, and have only managed to win him once. Lin has been able to defeat Lee in multiple occasions including the previous Olympics, but the failure did not see Lee giving up. Instead, he took it simply as an opportunity to start all over again. Failure is an important part of our learning process, especially when you are stretching your abilities. While Lee may not be at Lin’s level yet, he certainly is closer than he was ever before, with a decisive first set of 21 – 15, and he was only two game points away from the Olympic gold medal. It is exactly this fighting spirit that wins the heart and support from all Malaysians, and definitely something that all of us can learn from.

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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