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Better Off With Lone Wolves • No More Ping Pong Please

WELCOME TO EDITION 828 of GRAPEVINE 

Why do we embarrass ourselves by “buying” China’s C or D players when their own country no longer needs them? To make matters worse, some of them return to China after representing Singapore, after becoming Singapore citizens.

Singapore’s greatest Olympic successes have been in weightlifting and swimming.

All the athletes were/are lone wolves.

Lone wolves have no or very little support from any organisation or anyone else except themselves and their most intimate loved ones.

Lone wolves are capable of incredible struggle and, if they are lucky, success.

Lone wolves have character in abundance!

It is bewildering why Singapore sport authorities do not focus emphatically on weight-lifting and swimming when our athletes are so good in those endeavours.

Why do they choose instead to champion table tennis?

How many Singaporeans care about, watch, let alone play Ping Pong?

Why do we embarrass ourselves by “buying” China’s C or D players when their own country no longer needs them?

To make matters worse, some of them return to China after representing Singapore, after becoming Singapore citizens.

NEO Chwee Kok (1931 – 1987) swam the 100 m and 400 m Freestyle at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics
Photo from Singapore National Olympic Council website

Joseph Schooling won the Gold 100 m Butterfly in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Schooling’s great uncle Lloyd Valberg (1922 – 1997) – another lone wolf – was the first person to represent Singapore at an Olympics in the 1948 London Summer Games in high jump
Photo from Joseph Schooling’s Instagram account

YIP Pin Xiu won both of Singapore’s Gold medals – 100 m and 50 m Backstroke – at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics
Photo from YIP Pin Xiu’s Instagram account

TAN Howe Liang (born 1933) won Silver medal at the 1960 Rome Summer Games – the first Singaporean to do so at an Olympics – in weightlifting in the lightweight category. He had broken the oldest-standing world record in the same category in the clean and jerk in 1958. This photo was taken on 30 October 2008

Singapore’s first President Yusof Ishak – always impeccably attired – was also a lone wolf. He was Champion of Singapore in the lightweight category weightlifting in 1932. This photo was taken on National Day 9 August 1965. Image from the National Archives of Singapore

A COLONY OF CHINA?

Are we a colony of China that we need to provide some kind of retirement plan for their table tennis players when their “best before” date has come up?

Why not invest all those millions in our own youth who have shown dedication and love for their chosen sport and birth – or adopted – country in their formative years?

Not only swimming and weightlifting, but new sports that have now become part of the Olympic curricula including skateboarding and older classics such as sailing, archery, cycling, and team sports such as water-polo and hockey.

Let’s ride on the coat-tails of young Singaporeans spearheading us into the future.

It will be such a terrific, whirlwind ride!!

Who needs former Chinese Ping Pong players to represent Singapore.

Wishing you A Very Good Week.

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