We learn many things through sports, and this SEA Games has taught us a lot.
The 28th SEA Games featured many spectacular highlights, and some of them went beyond their entertainment value to teach us valuable lessons. Here are five lessons we learnt through the games.
1. Sportsmanship trumps awards
On June 7, 28-year-old Ashley Liew was representing Singapore for the 10km marathon and found himself with a 50m lead when the entire group of runners (excluding Ashley) had taken the wrong path.
In an act of true sportsmanship, he did not capitalize on this unfair advantage but slowed his pace to a crawl, enabling them to catch up. Although he came in 8th in the end, his sportsmanship made him the winner in the eyes of many Singaporeans, and showed us all that recognition does not need to come from awards alone.
2. Teamwork is the key to success
Singapore’s men’s water polo team has always been extremely dominant at the SEA Games. Having won their 26th consecutive gold medal, many wonder what the secret was behind their success.
While scores differed from game to game, there was one thing that stayed constant throughout. Singapore’s simple, unselfish passing was the key to their success. It showed us that while individual brilliance might wow the crowd, basic teamwork is still always the key to winning medals in team games.
3. Never underestimate your opponents
Having lost three sets to nil against Thailand in their first game, Singapore’s female volleyball team looked shaky from the get go. This was further emphasised when Singapore lost their first two sets to Myanmar in the following game.
With a second straight defeat looming on the cards for Singapore, many (the team from Myanmar included) were confident that it was going to be another thrashing for Singapore. The girls however came back to win the game 3-2. Apart from the lesson on perseverance, it showed us that we should never underestimate our opponents, regardless of circumstance.
4. Take every opportunity that comes your way
Karandasuwardi and Pratama faced off against fellow country men Gideon and Sukamuljo in the badminton doubles final, with Pratama’s team storming the first set 21-12.
After Gideon’s team somehow managed to take a huge lead in the next set, many were sure it would go to the the third and final set. However, Pratama and Karandasuwardi overcame an almost un-closable gap to deuce the game three times and win the tournament.
While they could have easily left it to the third set, Pratama’s and Karandasuwardi’s determination to win every set is a lesson to take every chance that comes our way regardless of further opportunities.
5. You are never too young to compete
Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei was the youngest competitor in the badminton tournaments this SEA Games. Only 15 years of age, Jin Wei made it to the semi finals, beating both Thai and Vietnamese opponents in consecutive sets.
Although she eventually lost to Indonesian badminton hotshot, Ramadini Hannah, she went down with a fight, winning her first set and then losing 21-12 and 21-18 on her next two sets. It showed us that age is merely a number and with the proper guidance, even the youngest of us can excel!
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