Medal should give the nation reason to be optimistic

opinion August 01, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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Weightlifter Pimsiri Sirikaew has won silver in London, proving that determinsation and effort can reap rewards for those with desire to succeed


Thais rose in jubilation on Monday night after Pimsiri Sirikaew won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in London. The 22-year-old weightlifter raised the nation’s spirits after she managed to stage one of the most impressive comebacks in Thai Olympic history.
Pimsiri managed to lift the 136-kilogram weight in the clean and jerk category after her poor performance in the earlier snatch category when she only finished 10th in the women’s 58-kilogramme class. When the referees did not allow her to pass the 103-kilo mark in the snatch category, some felt that the young weightlifter might have to return home empty-handed. 
Others might have given up, but not Pimsiri. She came back in the clean and jerk with a brilliant performance that was second only to Li Xueying of China.
Her performance has given relief to fans in Thailand, for now, at the very minimum, the Kingdom has at least won a silver medal at this Olympiad – which should inspire our other athletes to strive for glory. As of press time, Thais are rooting for our athletes in sports such as badminton, boxing and taekwondo, among others. These athletes’ performances must still be celebrated, for they represent years of hard work and discipline.
This is particularly the case for Pimsiri. The brief moment when the heroine from the northeastern province of Khon Kaen successfully lifted the bar is the result of years and years of sacrifice and painstaking effort. 
Pimsiri’s rise to Olympic glory is a testament to the overall determination of our other female weightlifters. The girls on the weightlifting team have committed themselves to a difficult discipline in which they have to build up strong shoulders and muscles to rise out of hardship and poverty and aspire to sporting success. It is a similar story for our young boxers who want to achieve fame and fortune in the ring. 
Young Sirivimon Pramongkol, who finished fourth in her weightlifting category on Saturday, said she had wanted to win a medal so that she could earn the prize money on offer from the government in order to build a home for her parents in Surin province. These female athletes are inspired by the success of their predecessors such as Pawina Thongsuk, who also managed to lift her way out of hardship.
On Monday night, crowds in Pimsiri’s hometown of Khon Kaen cheered with joy after their heroine brought glory to her home and country. As Thai flag flew above the podium in London, Pimsiri proudly held a photograph of His Majesty the King.
Regardless of the results achieved by other Thai athletes in London, their performances should be cherished, for they showcase the ability to rise against the odds. This resilience is best summed up by skeet shooter Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit, who tweeted after her below-par result on Sunday: “Disappointment is part of being an athlete. You win and you lose, and after you lose you can win again. The only thing you can do is to look ahead and try your best again and again and again.” 
Let’s hope that message will inspire the whole nation.