At the Olympics, everyone trains like crazy to be the best of the best just to participate. Forget about passion, talent and all that marketing mumbo-jumbo, it’s down to that crazy hustling regime at the world stage.
Testosterone levels skyrocket, as the arena is filled with hungry sweat-infused hustlers. These champions have been in incubation for years just to compete against other representatives of other countries, large and small.
Modern technology has further helped to blow the cover of any new competitive advantage or hidden tactics they have. Each are clearly aware of each other’s skill, move sets, playing styles, lifestyles, love lives, assets and everything else. Champions have nothing else to hide, except the words they use to mentally prepare themselves for this once every 4 years game.
That’s just to participate.
Then, they have to climb round after round of brutal competition against top seeds of the world just to get to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the finals.
Each step upwards brings along with it additional pressure, as Extreme High Definition cameras focus on their faces, shooting for news coverage back home, headlining the next “rising star” of the country. Everyone will start taking notice of these champions and start talking about it.
In disbelief, champions themselves tremble while seeing their names climb stage after stage. Those three Gold, Silver and Bronze medal demons start haunting them.
After continuous brutal “slaughtering” of hopes, two champions of the world meet in the finals.
Even though they are already a Silver medallist at this stage, a feat unaccomplishable by millions in years, the overwhelming pressure from that elusive Gold medal demon intensifies thousand-fold choking the champion as the final game creeps in.
Overnight, that shirt bearing the name of a whole country magically becomes the heaviest thing on earth.
It attracts millions of eyeballs and carries the accumulated hopes and dreams of thousands—the old, the young and the future generations. Citizens of their home country who have been beaten to their knees by the difficult economic situation, social tensions and even threats of war now see new hope in their athletes.
These champions have come a long way. Defying the traditional career path, some persist through warring states, surviving solely on their game with minimal or no monetary allowances. A difficult journey only the brave and bold will take; it is a journey recognised by others only upon discovery.
The final stage.
All those eyeballs further amplified by that final stage.
Both competitors bear that mind-blowing pressure. Smaller countries want it. Big countries want it. They all want it. That elusive gold. That title, the No.1 of the World.
Both have worked insanely to come this far. Both are so hungry that they have learnt to harness power from the overwhelming pressure.
The immense pressure is so suffocating that every single point is crucial.
But in the end, one will get it, one won’t.
The match ends.
The Gold medallist wins, cliché-ly runs around parading their triumph to the crowd! Tears of joy burst forth from the coaches’ faces. The whole arena tremble with cheers and celebrations! All spotlight shines upon them. Heroes of their nation! Champions of champions. They have done it! They are the winners. Flocks of reporters zoom in on them, salivating at them when the winners give their statement to their already-celebrating fans at home.
The Silver medallist on the other hand, has to hold it in gracefully. They were just one small step away but in a split second, they lost it. The roaring crowd didn’t spare any moment for them to process what is going on before madly cheering. Those tears have to be held in ever so tightly as they still have to put up a face for their fans back home.
At least team Bronze got some time for the feeling to sink in. They are just glad they got a medal.
The Silver medallist gets it the hardest.
It could have been their national anthem playing with their national flag being raised in the middle. It all happened too fast. The break before the ceremony is just too short. At that moment, they have forgotten that they themselves are champions of the world.
But, in actual fact, they have unknowingly united broken states and sour relationships of their countryman. Through that newly found hope, their fans have continued to cheer for them. Back home, people finally opened their eyes to the capability of their fellow countryman. They applauded for their effort. Streams of congratulations and gratitude flood every media outlet. They did make the country proud!
However, there are some fans who can’t believe that result of the game. The Gold medal demon has gotten to them that they forgot the arduous journey of these champions. Spiralling in their own little minds at that final game, they had been defeated over and over again. Beautiful minds become something ugly capable of spitting out unsupportive headlines.
The Silver medallist gets it the hardest.
They shouldn’t feel beaten at all.
The fact is, they already went up there and gave all humanly possible. They are our heroes too. Heroes who have tirelessly and selflessly put our country’s name on the map in the world stage.
Thank you guys!
I believe that we can ace it the next time. We all believe so.
This article was written and contributed by Chong Qin Yao.
Feature Image Credit: Getty Images