Hi! And how are you all? It’s the end of the year and 2015 will soon be on us. My heart however goes to the flood victims all over the country and all the passengers on Air Asia flight QZ 8501. The country’s deepest condolences are with their family and relatives. From that perspective 2014 has not been a great year for the country in relation to disasters.
What better way to start the New Year than to pay tribute to Datuk Nicol David, who two weeks ago won the World Women Squash Open for a record eighth time. I saw the game and I can say that it was one of the best games of squash I have ever watched. It had everything i.e. excitement, tension, drama and truly ‘edge of the seat’ stuff. To summarize the game, Nicol was two sets down and 10-6 down in the fourth set. It was almost 90 percent that she would lose to the Egyptian, Raneem El Weleily. She however dug in deep and not only tied the set at 10-10 but won it at 14-12. The fifth set was a breeze as the Egyptian had clearly lost confidence and Nicol won it at 11-5.
Let me summarize some of Datuk Nicol’s awesome achievements:
- She is the greatest squash player the men and women’s game has ever witnessed. She was World number 1 for more than 7 consecutive years.
- She is the greatest athlete in Malaysia ever!
- She is one of the greatest athletes in the world ever!
- She was World Squash Champion for a record eight times
- She was British Open squash champion five times.
As can be seen, her achievements are unprecedented by anyone not only in squash but also in the history of sports. I watched a recent interview she gave and two salient things she talked about were:
- She said that there is no substitute for hard work. There are many mornings she says when she doesn’t feel like getting out of bed for training, but she knows she must. She knows that bad habits usually starts with one late morning and then two mornings and then her whole training regime would be disrupted. Hence she never, ever skips training and credits much of her success to the hard work she puts inside and outside the court.
- Nicol also said that her major losses provided turning points in her career. She has had some big losses in her career, but each loss made her even more determined to go back to the court to rectify her weaknesses and made her even more resolute in wanting to succeed. This attitude has paid off as indirectly and directly, this has improved her game tremendously.
I think that we could all learn a lot from Datuk Nicol David, not only from a sports perspective but also as a role model. Even though she has achieved so much and is a world sporting legend, she is still a humble and modest person. She has also given all of us a lot of joy in watching her play the game of squash, as she is truly a maestro in the sport. And I would also like to thank her for her role in putting Malaysia in the Sports World map.
Happy new year to all and I do hope that 2015 will be a great, great year for all of you. Take care.