Can small countries win medals at the Olympic Games

Can small countries win medals at the Olympic Games-Page A18, Straits Times,11August 21.

The article contributed by Professor Tommy Koh makes some insightful observations and interesting reading. He asked if the population size of a country is its destiny at the Olympic Games and he answered his own question with some fairly convincing answers. I urge readers to read his commentary.

He further added that Singapore could learn from the Olympic success of other small countries and territories and some of them with even lesser populations than ours by having a conducive ecosystem, offering talented young people free programme of training, coaching and mentoring and thirdly, our society must truly value excellence in sports and make it possible financially for talented athletes to pursue their passions. All that make sense and I want to also add some of my own thoughts too.

My few points.

Our Singapore Sports School (SSS) was established in 2004. Despite the ploughing in of large amounts of money over the years, I ask what sports and how many sporting champions or runners up have the SSS produced in regional or international sporting arenas? Or was the school more for show and self-glorification than it actually meant business?

Next, too many former pap MPs and even minister were appointed to head sporting associations. There is nothing wrong if they were truly able to add value to those associations but I question if people like former pap MP, Choo Wee Khiang who led the Singapore Table Tennis Association as President was truly adding value to STTA or adding something else until he landed himself in court and was served with a stern warning or ex-pap MP and Central CDC Mayor, Zainudin Nordin, who headed FAS until he was on Commercial Affairs Department’s (CAD) radar or if former minister Lim Swee Say was really adding meaningful value to the Singapore Badminton Federation when he was President there or merely adding his big name and connections to SBF for the most part?

I dislike saying this but when Suckerporeans couldn’t be bothered or simply fail to hold the pap goverment to proper and serious accountability, then I worry that bit by bit, heading sports associations in Singapore may end up as lucrative semi retirement jobs for ex-pap MPs, Mayors or even ministars with more good years for them and very, very little to show at sporting events, both regional and international for Singapore.

I ask myself honestly how can we scale greater heights in sports when some of our more promising sporting associations are headed by ‘semi-retired’ pap MPs, Mayors or ministers who are unlikely to add real value except to lend their big names and big titles to those associations only?

In case the pap government or our Suckerporeans forget, sporting championship are not won by big titles, connections or the friend friend thing.

Sporting championships are won through discipline, training, grit, support and more discipline, training, grit and support and still more discipline, training, grit and support…



Simon Lim




9 Responses to “Can small countries win medals at the Olympic Games”

  • xoxo:

    Simon,why not?
    I am sure if H$K takes another $100 Billion from sgs’ reserves like recently to *savejobs(?)*, Sg can BUY A FEW MEDAL$?


    WTF! TAKE SGS’ RESERVES TO SHORT-CHANGE jobless n needy sgs of $23K each so as to grant BIGLY SUMS OF FURLOUGH TO WELL-TO-DO SGS N FTs/PRs?

    I am strongly against what H$K LOOTED and even more opposed to how he shortchanged the deserving jobless n needy SINGAPORE CITIZENS,ARE YOU ALL NOT?

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  • Kang:

    It takes millions of millions of year to evolve

    Into human form… just have to wait every 4 years ok!

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  • CCC= CannotConvinceConfuse:

    What’s so glorious about getting an Olympic medal only to see more and more citizens become jobless, underemployed and in dire strait?

    Forget about luxury. $10 a day is already not enough to cover daily needs and necessities, let alone medicines. The Poor and Needy are the ones in endless sufferings while the Filthy Rich are the ones enjoying heavenly, like God is not watching.

    You die your business..!

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  • Be REAL:

    Of course can lah.

    The crux of the problem is the thinking and quality of our leadership.

    Pinky and his bunch think money can buy anything using short cut method like importing ah tiong paddlers and free ride on the glory like schooling for political mileage.

    Sport is about passion and needs serious nurturing, not half baked lip service.

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  • nitrogen:

    for once we agree with Mr simon.

    in everything failing pap endeavor in pap island, there is one or more pap Lj or pap Cb causing the failure.

    look at NOL. look at sph. look at Astar. look at smrt. look at the Singaporean quality of life. all going from bad to badder.

    Singapore sports are going downhill, rightly, due to pap putting into every sport.

    if only a PSP or WP person is put into Singapore sports. results shall be more stellar than it is now.

    so also everything in Singapore. if only Ms Hazel Poa or Ms Sylvia Lim or Dr Jamus Lim or Ms He Ting Ru or any PSP WP person is in charge, there shall be more stellar results than are now.

    pap is that bad.

    YES. a bad apple can only begat another bad apple.

    pap rotten apples can only begat rotten apples. the pap measurement, S$m, is the wrong measurement causing the death of pap, sooner or later.

    sooner is 2024.

    later is 2025 latest.

    and good riddance.

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  • Harder Truths:

    $G does not win medals. $G buys medals. Different thing altogether.

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  • No hope for sinkies:

    Be REAL:
    Of course can lah.

    The crux of the problem is the thinking and quality of our leadership.

    Pinky and his bunch think money can buy anything using short cut method like importing ah tiong paddlers and free ride on the glory like schooling for political mileage.

    Sport is about passion and needs serious nurturing, not half baked lip service.

    To add salt to injury, we pay good money to these ah tiong TT imports, come back empty handed.

    Worst, ah tiong woman Li jiawei became millionaire and took Olympic medal back to her home town.

    On the other hand, HK local Sarah Lee makes history with second Olympic medal.

    WTF see the difference

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  • Support system needed:

    Want to win Olympic medal?
    Prepare to support our local sportsman and setup a good support systems for them.
    Very expensive to make a Olympic champion…must be prepare to pay the price to train and support them .
    Cannot expect their parent to pay for it all.
    No short cut..stupid to use FT to get medal.

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    All this crave for winning, with strategy like buying ‘foreign talent’ in order to win and fake impression of national prowess and success (ie. cheating?), is surely un-sportsman like? So it’s a losing strategy in sports?

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