14 January, 2013
Li Jiawei (holding torch) was at the YOG museum to impart some valuable experience to the next generation of paddlers. (SSC images)
Having competed at 4 Olympic Games and winning a host of medals – including Gold at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Moscow in 2010, veteran Singapore table-tennis player Li Jiawei called time on an illustrious career late last month.
Speaking at length with Singapore’s youth from the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) and Singapore Sports School at the Youth Olympic Games Museum last Friday, Li shared some valuable experience emphasizing that failure and enduring the hardships that come with training are key elements on the road to success in sport.
Recounting how training grounds were of a very poor standard back in her time compared to what the current crop of players have now, Li quipped, "It's through these and many hardships that got me to where I am today."
She added, “Only if you put in a lot of effort will you achieve your dream and attain the desired results.”
Although she has stepped down, Li hopes that no matter where she is she will never stop seeing Singapore in the Olympics. It was perhaps very apt that the session started off with a tour of the Olympic gallery and the museum staff shared about the passing of the Olympic torch signifying the friendship between different continents. Li Jiawei in her own way, was merely passing the baton on to our future, promising generation of paddlers.
Sharing that she will always be indebted to Singapore for nurturing her and believing in her to help her achieve her Olympic dream, Li also said that she would be more than glad to help Singapore table tennis in any way she could in future.
Indeed, after all the sweat and tears that was shed, which came with each of its glorious victories, Li Jiawei will forever remain in our hearts as one true table tennis legend.