The 26th SEA Games has begun!

The 26th SEA Games is finally here. With over 500 Gold medals in contention, the region’s top athletes from 11 countries will battle it out in 44 different sports over a span of 11 days. From 11th to 22nd November, Team Singapore will carry the Nation’s pride & colours to the sporting arenas in Jakarta & Palembang, Indonesia.

This time round, Singapore is fielding a relatively young team of athletes hoping to give them some exposure and also experience competing in a regional level. Leading the Singapore contingent is the Chef de Mission – James Wong, who is taking part in his 9th SEA Games this time round. The veteran Discus thrower is deadly with his throws, and is looking forward to clinch another Gold at the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia.

I know many of us, Singaporeans couldnt care much about the SEA Games as they would compared to the EPL, Olympics or S-League for that matter. I mean, seriously, how many of you before reading this, knew about the SEA Games starting on 11th November. How many of Singaporeans out there actually knows how many sports are Singapore competing in the 44 sports available? Seriously, i doubt many would know.

Yes, we may have our disapproval and unfavourable opinions about certain sports athletes or sports which the government supports. But, lets put all those aside and look instead at the bigger picture for sports in Singapore. We have the potential to make the sporting scene even bigger in Singapore. Already we have come a long way since those days of playing soccer at the void decks or running events that didnt strike a stride with most Singaporeans. Such Games, i honestly believe, open the doors to more opportunity and improvements in the sporting scene in Singapore. It allows young Singaporeans who aspire to be a professional athlete to hone their skills in a sport-oriented environment. Give these athletes a chance.

Yes, we might not win ALL the medals in every games we take part in nor are our athletes very much comparable to the Western counterparts (who are genetically bigger, faster and stronger), but we could always aim to be the best in our region. The best among our neighbours. Or simply, the best in Singapore.

To any of the Singapore athletes reading this, winning the Gold medal should NOT be the MAIN thing in your minds as you all proceed to the Games. Yes, indeed “Go for Gold” might be on your mind, but seriously, focus more on your performance & pursue excellence in your field and the Gold will come to you. As the saying goes, “Pursue excellence and success will chase you, pant down.”. Gambatte Team Singapore!

You can catch the daily highlights of the day’s events on Channel 5 at 11pm!

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