Loh Kean Yew is the man of the hour. Riding high on his recent success at the Badminton World Federation World Championships 2021 (where he became the Champion), Loh Kean Yew and his historic accomplishment is talked about excitedly everywhere in Singapore.
He’s on social media, he’s on traditional media and I guarantee you he’ll be on them for the next few days. Deservedly so! I don’t begrudge him that at all. He’s done an incredible thing and cemented his legacy in the annals of Singapore history. Even better, he’s young and barring any mishaps, should have a stunning career in front of him.
What I’m talking about today is Singaporean’s attitudes after our heroes fall from grace. It happened to the Singapore Lions, it happened to our Olympians earlier in the year. Just ask Joseph Schooling.
Once the darling of Singaporeans for winning gold at the Rio Olympics, Schooling’s dismal performance at this year’s Tokyo Olympics had Singaporeans ripping into him like crazed hyenas in a famine.
It was an ugly, ugly look into the way most Singaporeans think. It got so bad that President Halimah Yaacob had to speak out in support of Schooling’s performance.
Schooling’s fall from grace was inevitable. Nobody stays on top forever. Even Micheal Jordan gave way to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. That will be the case for Loh Kean Yew.
It might not happen next year, it might not happen for a long time…but it will happen. How then will Singaporeans react to the new Golden Boy losing?
Hopefully we’ve all learned a thing or two from how we treated our Olympians…but the cynical part of me thinks that we’re in for a repeat performance of how the public turned upon Schooling.
In that regard, I feel the need to make a plea to remember to hold your damn tongues.
If you’re so inclined to spew vitriols, think about whether you could’ve accomplished the same thing. No? Then shut the hell up and accept that the athlete’s tried his/her best.
Think about it!
Why would anybody willingly throw away a shot at glory if they could help it? Nobody wants to lose! Ragging on sportsmen and women because they didn’t live up to your expectations won’t help matters a bit. Chances are the anger you feel towards their failure is nothing compared to how they themselves feel at their performance.
When the time comes and Low Kean Yew falters, don’t tear him a new one. Thank him instead for what he’s done for the country. That’s how we become a better society.