August 21, 2016

THANK YOU, MICHAEL PHELPS

I have my favorite Olympians, I can name a few - local and World record breaking champions, but there's this one guy who was so extraordinary in my early teenage years and still am. This is gonna be a very lengthy post, I appreciate it if you guys read it till the end. Hehe.


Michael Phelps after winning 4x100m freestly relay in Beijing 2008


He is Michael Fred Phelps II - the greatest and the most decorated Olympian of all time. Why? Because he has won 28 Olympics medals which 23 of them are Gold. Constantly breaking World and Olympic records.


Athens 2004 - 6 Gold, 2 Bronze. 
Beijing 2008 - 8 Gold. 
London 2012 - 4 Gold, 2 Silver. 
Rio 2016 - 5 Gold, 1 Silver.


I know right? He couldn't be THAT good. I thought the same thing too when he won 8 Gold in Beijing 2008. There were rumors saying that he might be taking the performance-enhancing drugs. I actually believed and quite heartbroken hearing it. However, Phelps passed all nine tests that were administered to him during the games. Yayyyy! So much respect for him. Thus, I keep on rooting for him since Beijing, then London and now Rio.

Everyone has flaws, and that includes Phelps. Since he was little, he was diagnosed with ADHD. He also had problems with his father, Fred. There was a photo of him with bong and he immediately apologized because of his inappropriate behavior. Charged with speeding and driving under alcohol - twice. Battled with depression, announcing his retirement, went to rehab to have some soul searching (not for alcohol addiction, mind you) and finally he's back on track. 

He announced that London 2012 will be his last Olympic games but then, he reversed his decision. Phelps said that he wanted to do Olympics for one last time. Of course, he did - with amazing records. He started his Olympic gold haul with 4x100m freestyle relay. On Day 4, he competed in 200m butterfly to add another Gold medal in his collection.

In case you did not know, in the previous Olympic games - London 2012, he lost to Chad le Clos (South Africa) with 0.05s difference. Chad le Clos won Gold in London 2012, Phelps won Silver. It was shocking to everyone because Phelps was expected to win. Thus, in Rio 2016 he promised to bring back the Gold.  Did he win? He did it again! Chad le Clos was placed fourth in the race. Also, on the same day, 70 minutes after winning 200m butterfly, he won Gold too in 4x200m freestyle relay.


#1 GOAT

#PhelpsFace


Michael Phelps was so determined to win until his #PhelpsFace broke the internet. Ok a little bit explanation on the meme. Both Phelps and Chad le Clos were waiting in the call room. Chad le Clos was.. I don't know - distracting or just doing his routine before competing. There he was, Phelps giving his death stare to his rival. Ok so after the race, Phelps explained that we wasn't giving any stare, he was just in his own bubble, listening to his playlist. Anyway, that is Chad le Clos. So cute, right? Haha.

Moving on, he also won Gold in 200m individual medley (combination of breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and freestyle). Damn, I could not even swim. With this victory, he has won fourth consecutive Gold since Athens 2004. Phew, too much Gold, isn't it? The number one questions, is it true that Phelps cannot be defeated?

Joseph Schooling from Singapore has proven us wrong. In the 100m butterfly race, he beat Michael Phelps, Chad le Clos and Laszlo Cseh, leaving these three rivals tied in Silver. Instead of being disappointed, Phelps was all smiling and proud of Schooling. Saying that he will support him in the future. I mean like, just look at the pictures. I have never seen someone losing who are so happy like that. Before the race started, I was so proud Singapore made it to final. (Singapore is Malaysia's neighbour, so yea representing SEA!). 

On that time, I had no idea who was Joseph Schooling. I did not even know his name, I only called him "Singapore".

And then, after not more than a minute, Singapore won Gold in the race and.. startled me. My only concern is I was afraid if Phelps would be disappointed in winning Silver just like when Chad le Clos beat him in London 2012. After all, 100m butterfly was the final race in his individual career. However the triple Silver medalist were laughing all by themselves when they saw the scoreboard. I have never been much happier when I saw him, Chad le Clos and Laszlo Cseh holding hands at the podium, smiling and waving to everyone. That is how champions managed their defeat.


"OMG guys three of us won Silver?"






On Day 8, Phelps and his teammates won another Gold in 4x100m medley relay and breaking the Olympic record. 

It was Michael Phelps final appearance at the Olympic games. As soon as team USA won Gold in the relay, he put up his hands and said thank you. I was so emotional on that time :( 16 years, 5 Olympics. After all these years, this time is finally the end. Of course, once upon a time Phelps said London would be his final race but he did came back for Rio. He wanted to do Olympics for one more time. Will he do it again, will he come back for four more years? I have a little faith that he will be coming back for Tokyo 2020. Maybe? God knows.

I know this appreciation post will only be another entries I post during Olympics. Four years more, I will be reading this post and smile and think wow I was such a huge fangirl haha. There will be no more Michael Phelps after this. I was hoping with my whole heart so he can come back for four years more. But when I see his baby, Boomer :') After these years, Michael Phelps should be with his son and Nicole as much as he wanted his father to be by his side when he was a kid. To be the best father and soon-to-be husband. It is an honour to see him swimming, and now he deserves to rest.

To watch his success since I was 12 and now I am graduating soon. To see him at the peak of his career, then having to watch him at his lowest point, and see him rise back again. To see him bringing back 28 Olympic medals back home. To see him inspiring Joseph Schooling to beat his idol. To see him handling defeat well. To see him and little baby P growing. To witness every success of Michael Phelps and his journey. To make Olympics is more exciting to watch. I could not be any happier and prouder. And with that.. thank you, Michael Phelps.

Thank you, so much for the memories.

August 18, 2016

WHY I LOVE THE OLYMPICS, SO MUCH

While everyone tend be crazy over World Cup and other sporting events, I watch Olympics. As a matter of fact, I love the Olympics. I know which athletes belongs to which country according to their uniforms color. Because of that, I remember some of the countries flag. I grew up with watching it since I was 12. Other than supporting my own country, I also support others. As of today is Day 13 of Rio 2016 Olympics, I wanted to dedicate this post to the games.


Olympics ring


Why I love the Olympics, so much? Olympics is where I can watch the best of the best elite athletes from all around the globe competing, once in a four years. Beijing 2008 was my first Olympic games - where our hero, Dato' Lee Chong Wei won his first Olympics medal. After the games, he earned the Dato' title. Michael Phelps were the centre of the attraction, sweeping eight medals - all gold. Nastia Liukin won gold in all-around individual competition of Artistics Gymnastic. And of course, I only knew Usain Bolt that time around. I am proud to say I have watched the best of the best competing.

Other than watching champions, I also witness the journey of their career. Now I feel old enough because all of the names I have mentioned above have retired, are retiring and also will be retiring. Nastia Liukin retired after London 2012, now she is one of the NBC commentator for the games. Someone that I really look up to, Michael Phelps retired after the final race of his career in Rio 2016. Now enjoying his free time with his family. Usain Bolt, the fastest man on Earth will compete in his final race too, tomorrow at the Olympics stadium.


Rio 2016 Summer Olympics Participating Countries


Just look at the map. There are 205 countries participating. 11,178 confirmed athletes with 306 events. There are also a refugee team, competing under Olympics flag and anthem. Olympic games is probably the only thing that can help me acknowledging countries that I have never heard of before. Have you heard a country name Tonga? Palau? I second that. Maybe the mat sallehs too have never heard of our country name. Also, small countries have the same chances of winning just like the ruling countries. Just when everyone thought no one can't beat Michael Phelps, Joseph Schooling from Singapore changed our mind. Champions came from the different parts of the world.

Oh and did you know Israel is also competing in the game? North Korea, too?

Another reasons to love Olympics is I get to see some international friendships between athletes. I tear up most of the time when the Olympians from different continents hugging and congratulating each other despite they are winning or losing. Like they are so proud of each other. Supporters and audiences back home may be fighting over their favorites, but there they are, our great Olympians giving us smiles and tears of joy like a bundle of happiness.

I love Olympics because I live for the spirit. North Korea and South Korea gymnasts were seen taking selfies together. Great Britain athletes hugged USA after winning Gold, Silver and Bronze in the same event. Most importantly is when Michael Phelps – 23 Gold medalist congratulated Joseph Schooling, a historical swimmer from Singapore after beating Phelps in the 100m butterfly race. Phelps was expected to win fourth consecutive Gold in the race won Silver after Schooling beat him. Instead of being disappointed, Phelps was all smiling and proud of Schooling. Saying that he will support him in the future.
 
Lastly, I get to see golden moments like this. God bless.


Michael Phelps after winning 200m butterfly

Arthur and Diego after winning bronze and silver
 
USA after winning gold in 4x100m medley relay

Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow after winning bronze in 10m platform

Aly Raisman after winning silver in all-around individual artistic gymnastics

Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin sweeping all medals in 100m hurdles

Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse after qualifying to 200m final

Michael Phelps, Chad Le Clos, Laszlo Czech after tied in 100m butterfly











Jason Kenny after winning gold in keirin. His fiance, Laura Trott also won gold in omnium

pictures/gifs: credits to respective owners.