LET us throw our support behind our national para athletes, who will be going up against the world’s best in the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Of course there are favourites, who have been identified to bring back gold medals for the nation, following our fantastic outing at the 2016 Rio edition in Brazil. I, like all other Malaysians, would like to see them surpass the target of three gold medals. It will surely be a pleasant welcome ahead of our Independence Day at the end of the month, and a breath of fresh air in the midst of the nation’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, I urge everyone not to place too much pressure on our athletes. Cheer them on no matter the outcome. It will be a blessing if they return with medals regardless of colour, but if things do not work out, there is no need for unnecessary criticisms.

One would be ignorant to say these criticisms and jeers do not exist. I do not need to go way back to prove this. We all know what happened in this year’s Tokyo Olympics where some Malaysians took to social media to criticise our athletes who did not win medals.

Please let us not repeat this mistakes. The fact that our athletes will be at the Olympics or Paralympics representing the country is already a proud feat.

Once again, the Jalur Gemilang will be hoisted at the opening ceremony by our flag bearers. Let us be reminded that our national contingent is a show of not only Malaysia’s finest, but they also represent unity, patriotism and the Malaysian way of life.

Our athletes will not only be battling for glory at the games. They will also be facing a threat from the Covid-19 pandemic. While we hope for triumph at the Tokyo meet, let us also keep our para athletes in our prayers and thoughts.

May they have a safe journey and a safe return.

Yeap Ming Liong
Subang Jaya