My Deaflympic Experience
Deaflympics have been an incredible experience for me. I took up this role because my passion in life is to inspire and to provide everyone an opportunity to enjoy badminton as much as I do. I decided to invest myself in this team because I really just wanted to help them. It was a huge challenge because we were only left with only 2.5 months to prepare for this world event. Players didn't get enough tournament exposure, a lot of skills polishing has to be done, fitness training and managing anxiety is one of the biggest challenge I faced. I know I have to prepare them mentally, physically, technically and tactically prior to the games.
A lot of pressure was on badminton as it's the targeted sport to deliver a medal in Deaflympics. Besides that, we faced many other challenges as well; dealing with injuries, and to perform under pressure. All I can do as a coach, is to remain strong and motivate them at all times. I told them to - "Stay stronger when you are faced with challenges from whatever or whoever. The best sailor is one who have overcome the biggest storm, the same as the best coach is one who have overcome the biggest challenges, the same as the best player is one who have overcome the biggest obstacle!
What impressed me most was their fighting spirit, determination, commitment and burning desire to win a medal for the country despite their disabilities. I hope this achievement will help visibility! These hearing-impaired athletes deserve recognition in lifting the name of our country, Malaysia!
The 23rd Summer Deaflympic, is a world event with 3000 participants from 90 countries. From my experience of 15days surrounded by 95% of hearing- impaired individuals, I totally understand what it feels like to be socially excluded and also how hard they have to persist to be accepted into the world of hearing people. I feel nervous to interact although we are all the same with different form of communication.
The hearing-impaired community definitely need more awareness! I believe many others have the same feeling as me, representing my country was the best ever feeling I cannot describe. Seeing our 'Jalur Gemilang' on the podium is definitely an unforgettable pride. This Deaflympic medal meant more than any competition I've been in because to me, the most beautiful accomplishment in life is to inspire others to live theirs.