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August 23, 2008

Learning Points: Team Singapore Table Tennis, Beijing Olympic Games

Learning Points: Team Singapore Women's Table Tennis, Beijing Olympic Games

The past fortnight has seen my family and I glued to the TV screen because of the Beijing Olympic Games and especially the efforts of Team Singapore Women's Table Tennis.

The Team Singapore Women's Table Tennis Olympic Silver medal winning performances were the highlight of the 2008 Olympic sporting extravaganza that have never been witnessed since our nation gained independence. The previous Olympic Silver medal winning performance that was won by Singaporean weightlifter Tan Howe Liang took place way back in 196o.

I am sure these Team Singapore Women's Table Tennis Olympic Silver medalists and their winning performances will become colossal role models for Singaporeans. The unprecedented Olympic medal winning performance since independence by Li Jiawei, Wang Yuegu and Feng Tianwei will likely be telecast on national TV repeatedly whenever an Olympic Games year comes around every four years.

I will not go into debate about the degree of 'Singaporean-ness' these table tennis athletes are. As far as I am concerned and in the eyes of the Olympic competition, they are Singaporeans. This mighty Olympic medal-winning achievement is a Singaporean record worth celebrating.

As learning points for my family, I’m glad to say that my children were inspired to follow the table tennis women’s team and single’s events closely, even though they aren’t the athletic type, or particularly sports loving, unless the sporting event is played on PC with a mouse or joystick.

My kids have been learning how to point their table tennis bats correctly since the exploits of our Women’s Table Tennis Silver medallists at the Beijing Olympic Games. They have also been busy learning how to count points in their ping pong games. Inevitably, one loser will be learning how bad it feels to lose while the other will be learning how to win with respect and grace.

This win-lose concept of sports, the emotions that go along with it and attendent how-to-deal-with-it aspects are also learning points. Just like in the real world, learning how to handle both the positive points and negative points in their journey through life is an essential skill that they must learn to acquire.

Hopefully, the momentum of their interest in sports can be sustained long after the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The exposure to sports and physical games as recreational pursuits is a continuous learning experience for my family. I hope to add more points to their learning of sports in order to make their academic life more rounded and more balanced in our everything-must-be-number-one society.

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