The Story Of Goh Liu Ying's Courageous Journey To The Olympics
"I am Goh Liu Ying. I am the Rio Olympics badminton mixed doubles silver medallist. This will make me proud for the rest of my life."
Those were the last two lines of Malaysia's victorious Olympic silver medallist, Goh Liu Ying heartfelt Facebook post last night, 18 August.
Goh Liu Ying and her partner Chan Peng Soon made history on 17 August when they bagged Malaysia's first ever medal, a silver, in the mixed doubles category in the country's Olympics history.
Celebrating the momentous occasion, Malaysians came forward to express their continuing support and love to both of them. A day later, the 27-year-old shuttler took to Facebook to write about her courageous journey that led to the prestigious Rio Olympics games this year.
The Facebook post that was posted last night has received more than 76,000 likes and over 6,718 shares as of today, 19 August. Liu Ying had originally written the post in Mandarin and Malaysiakini has translated the status into English.
Goh started the post by describing the moment she won the silver medal as a "distant dream". She was part of Malaysia’s first ever first ever batch of mixed doubles badminton team.
She explained that back in the days, the teams were usually put together with little planning.
"At that time, Malaysia's focus was only on the men's singles and men's doubles teams. Malaysians were also only interested in men badminton players," read the translated version of Goh's post.
In a report by The Malay Mail Online on 17 August, Goh had mentioned about struggling with knee injuries for the past few years and how she had to undergo operations on both her knees back in May 2014.
The operation and the recovery period cost Goh and her partner, Chan Peng Soon their then World No. 3 spot, pushing them down to No. 281 on 5 March in 2015.
"When we won the semi-finals, I felt like I was in a dream. Did I really win? Is this not a dream?"
Goh spoke about how she spent countless nights dreaming about the experience of standing on the podium to receive the medal.
She said that their initial goal was just to perform on the group stage first, but they made it to the semi-finals, she thought they may actually have a chance at bagging the bronze medal. They ended up winning the silver instead.
The post explained that facing the Indonesian team was made even more tricky as they were in strong form and Goh said that they did not end up performing up to the initial expectations.
"Many people hoped that we could go for Malaysia's first gold Olympic medal but regrettably, we couldn't put up a good match."
"Standing on the podium and seeing the moment our country's flag was raised, I teared up. I could only dream of this moment, I never thought it could happen," wrote Goh.
The Melaka-born national athlete said that the pair entered the Olympics game this year in the eighth place and that there were so many others that were far better than them
"I am just Goh Liu Ying. I did not have such remarkable achievements like the Chinese team, I did not have the steady performance of the Korean team, I did not have the tactical strategy of the European teams nor did I have the experience of the Indonesian team. I am just Goh Liu Ying," said Goh.
She said that while other athletes managed to complete their training set by the national team coach, she was only able to complete half of it, adding that she wasn't born with the body of an athlete either.
Not being able to build up her muscles like other athletes, Goh said that she is more susceptible to injuries as there is less protection. She couldn't overexert herself either as she had just undergone a massive surgery a couple of years ago, making the strength of her legs lesser, compared to other athletes on ground.
"I am Goh Liu Ying. I am the Rio Olympics badminton mixed doubles silver medalist. This makes me proud for the rest of my life," she wrote, ending the post.
Goh's message serves as a tribute to true sportsmanship and national pride. We're so proud of you Goh Liu Ying, rock on! :D