by Daniel Yap
Citizens are citizens, although Australia’s William Henzell may not be too happy about Singapore’s largely ex-Chinese team sweeping most of the table tennis medals at the Commonwealth games.
I’m okay with getting foreign-born athletes to commit to the nation and become a part of our country, if the scheme doesn’t significantly deprive Singaporeans of the chance to excel and raises opportunities for our people to do better.
Of course, there’s also the conundrum of how they are ACTUALLY Singaporeans as well.
The worst case would definitely be when a foreign-born athlete fails to integrate into our society, then packs up and leaves when his or her sporting days are over. If you want to buy in to Singapore, you have to buy in to the whole package. But alas, this is a humane society, and such fair-weather friends are free to go (and good riddance).
But we do have Australia to thank for one of Singapore’s most amazing foreign-born athletes – Aleksandar Duric. This guy’s story should be made into a movie. Don’t believe me? Go read it here on Wikipedia.
Duric came to us from Australia, on his own steam (not specifically for his excellent sporting prowess), and became a major piece of our nation’s football history.
So yeah, thanks for letting us have him, Australia. It was totally worth it.