The curtain is set to fall on the London 2012 Olympic Games on Sunday after two weeks of exciting events in which new records were set almost every day.
These include the 9.63 seconds achieved by Jamaican sprinter Usai Bolt in the men's 100-meter dash, and the 1 minute, 40.91 seconds attained by Kenya runner David Rudisha in the men's 800 meters.
On such a grand occasion, it is not a good feeling when the athletes of one's own country are hardly visible and one can only be a bystander.
In London, Taiwan has won only one silver medal and one bronze, in the women's 53kg weightlifting and the women's taekwondo 57kg, respectively.
These results are by no means satisfactory, given that Taiwan brought home one silver and four bronzes from the Sydney Games in 2000, two golds, two silvers and one bronze from Athens in 2004, and four bronzes from Beijing in 2008.
Of course winning medals is not the main purpose of participating in sports events. The idea is to keep challenging oneself to achieve excellence. But even in this sense, Taiwan has much room for improvement.
The slogan of the London Olympics is "Inspire a generation." It tells the story of Australian athlete Sally Pearson, the gold medalist in the 100-meter hurdles, who was inspired by the victory of a compatriot, sprinter Cathy Freeman, at the 2000 Olympics.
Don't forget that what really inspires people are not medals, but the spirit of vigorous pursuit of excellence. (Editorial abstract -- Aug. 11, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)