MALAYSIA'S quest for an Olympic gold continues. It may take many more years before we can be treated to one. It will certainly require more than a RM1 million carrot before we can stake a claim to one.
While not winning one should not dishearten our athletes, 11-gold winner Michael Phelps have shown the world what could be achieved with determination, endless practise, proper guidance and a scientific approach to training.
Perhaps, the biggest help Phelps got was the absence of politicians running his swimming association or club or whatever. I doubt very much if any politician in his home country even interfere in his training programmes, let alone decide on Phelps strategy to such a record win.
However, I won't be surprised if Phelps is invited to have a cup of tea with his president at the White House after he return home, neck heavy with Olympic gold medals and world records.
This is definitely not the case with Malaysian sports, where almost every politician wants to have his two-sen pitch in sports development and management. Politicians translate their involvement in sports as a political catchment area of voters. Period.
And when the athletes fumble, or defeated by opponents more worthy of victory, the politician will find it most easy to offer solutions to such defeats and break into rhetorics which somehow find their way into the sports pages.
If one is to listen to the verbal diarrhoea of our politicians involved in sports, one would have thought that the politician must have been a medal winner at some international sports meet in the past. I bet you that you could probably beat the person at a simple board game of Scrabble or chess.
We are all tired of listening to politicians trying to sound like sports experts. Why can't they just concentrate on their job of looking after their constituencies and help their state develop further?
And if they are in the Federal Cabinet, why can't they facilitate and not intimidate?
I do suspect that some politicians have this misconceive notion that their presence at sports games, especially big world meets, is an inspiration to the athletes. And using the same corny logic, the Defence Minister should be at the forefront of any war to lead his charges into battle!
If you tell them that their presence adds pressure on the athletes and officials, they will probably object to such views violently and go into somersaults. When will we ever learn and start demarcating our tasks and responsibilities. I say, leave sports to those who really know.