Indonesia’s First Gold

Artwork by Alessandro Mulya

I could never forget the cheering shouts for Indonesia’s badminton. It has been a sports that since my grandfather’s childhood days has birthed more and more legends, one better than the last generation. Liem Swie King, Susi Susanti, Taufik Hidayat, Jonathan Christie and recently Greysia Polii and Aprilia Rahayu are a ringing bell that reminds the world of this country — and what a day it has been for Indonesia to come strong again and again and again.

And it’s been a public secret here in Indonesia — that these precious athletes may be the last of it’s kind. Here’s why; The Protection Commission of Child and Mothers ( I hope I get that right, by the way ) has banned tobacco from sponsoring badminton. And they have been the biggest fundraiser so far, over the last two or three decades, maybe even more.

Another thing being is that several branches of sports here in Indonesia has been more idyllic over the past years, if not completely forgotten about; by the fans and the government and everyone altogether. It took only a rural gym and a limited regimen of eating for our weightlifting athletes at the Olympics. If I might add an opinion myself, it does seem a little bit unfair that without overseeing and supporting the process behind it, everybody just jumps on the bandwagon when the athletes win.

But despite the big storm ahead, they still won. And that’s understating things a little bit, they won. Against all other countries on this planet — and that is why a bronze from a country out of nowhere seemed more precious than all the golds from America and China combined altogether. Those precious medals carry over a little something; a story of an underdog in a stadium full of alpha bulldogs, a journey with a fitting end, an ending of a tale everybody wants to hear.

I admit, I am kind of itchy to write an article comparing those who won gold despite their hard journey compared to influx of millions of money poured each year into football — but then again, everybody loves football. And with the football’s governing body situation, it is kind of unfair to pit it together like that ( Maybe for the next article, perhaps? )

But I hate to end an article with a down note. After all, they won. That’s all what we like to hear. And deservedly, all of the athletes became crazy rich from all the endorsements and prize pool. It might be a regular occurrences for superpower countries, but it is quite the festive event for a small country all across the ocean to win some. And like Kevin from The Office says, “It’s just nice to win one.” Well said, Ashton Kutcher — I mean Kevin Malone.




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Alessandro Mulya

Alessandro Mulya

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