Sports in Singapore do not deserve government funding as they have not produced any regional champions or world class athletes. Is this statement true? Yes it is, to a certain extent.
The truth is that many Olympic medals are won by foreigners who have migrated to Singapore. Some Singaporeans, however dislike the idea and believe that the glory of sporting cannot be bought and that if countries with similar or smaller population sizes like New Zealand, Croatia and Jamaica can win with home-grown athletes, then we should be able to as well.
Whether you agree or disagree with this statement, you cannot deny the fact that the silver medals brought home by Li Jiawei, Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu during the 2008 Summer Olympics drew huge media attention and sparked conversations about sport on every street corner. Although none of them are native-born Singaporeans, they all have the Singapore spirit of not giving up and always giving their best at all that do.
However, there are also Singaporeans talents, such as Singaporean Paralympic Olympian Laurentia Tan, who has won 4 medals in the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. Her success is very admirable as she developed cerebral palsy and profound deafness after birth.
These people inspired a generation of young talents to pursue their sporting dreams with the knowledge that it can be a legitimate career path. Winning is not always the most important. It is the spirit that truly matters. Most of these athletes may not be Singaporeans, but they all have one goal in common: having a Singapore flag raised at the Olympics and that greatest part of the Games ― its ability to unite people.
Laura Zheng (2L)