A medal to boot
I wanted the title to be 'A medal to show', but it seems that 'A medal to boot' is a more appropriate one. So we have our Olympic medal, what's next? Malaysia have sent a man to the moon. Do we also want to send a Singaporean to the moon to cook the biggest plate of fried kway teow? We have sent our teams to climb the Everest, the Artics and Antartics. We have our name splattered all over the Guinness Book of World Records. We have added another one after this Olympic, for offering the biggest bounty for a gold medal. What would all this greatness lead us to? A greater country, a more respectable people, a more cohesive society, more nationalistic, more chest thumping moments? I can appreciate the fun part, and this also goes to the record breaking feats in the Guinness Book, but there is a big difference. The feats for Guinness were done in jest, a social event, and with little cost. An Olympic medal is no child's game. It takes many years to nurture and train an athlete, together with a host of people and training programme, medical, nutrients and other facilities. It is not small money. Now that the medal is in our pocket, and the hilarious excitement has died down, shall we ask the same question again? Is it worth it? Will we be cheering and rooting for Usain Bolt in London in 2012 or some minute Kenyans running the distance events for us? The Chinese have proven that their hothouses could turn little Asians in world champions. What were needed are patience, perseverence, financial resources, pain and sacrifices. The children paid a very heavy price for it. They were weaned away from their parents at 5 or 6 years old, actually taken away from their parents, at a time when parental love and warmth were the things they needed. We could do the same. But the emotional price is too high. We could hardly find any parents here willing to dump their children in hothouses at that tender age. The children may not recognise them in their next visits. And we cry that we cannot produce world class champions. How can, when everyone sees the academic school system as the end all of a good life, no parents dare to let their children fail in our education system. It will be the end of their road to a good life. So we shall continue with instant tree solution. Buy, buy. If we are willing to pay, 10 gold medals will be within our means. So is the road to the next world cup. Its elementary.