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Home > Newsroom > News Archive > 2013 News and Events > Mental Strength The Key To Success

Mental Strength The Key To Success

Lessons From The Champions: Lee Chong Wei

Posted: 3 May 2013


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Despite rupturing his Achilles tendon in his right ankle less than three months before the London 2012 Olympic Games, Datuk Lee Chong Wei knew it would not stop him from competing at the Games. Doctors told him that he had to rest for at least six months but he was determined to compete. The thought of missing the Games through injury was made worse because at 30, this could be his last Olympic Games. Hence, he underwent physiotherapy, resistance training, pool work and even stem cell treatment.

Speaking to Singapore Sports School student-athletes on 30 May 2013 during “Lessons From The Champions”, a Character Education Programme series organised by the Sports Wing, Datuk Lee shared how he bounced back from injury to win his second Olympic Silver medal in London last August.

Going into the London Olympic Games, Lee was far from match-ready. Even when he was at the Olympic Village, he still could not move much without painkillers to block off the pain. After winning his first and second round matches, he got a bit of his confidence back but there was still a lot of pressure on him. Nevertheless, he reached the final, where his old nemesis, Lin Dan, awaited. In a heart-stopping match that lived up to all the pre-game hype, Datuk Lee was 2 points away from winning Malaysia’s first Olympic gold medal but he succumbed 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 to Lin Dan.

“I stayed in London for two weeks but it felt like two years. Time passed by so slowly. Only after I lost in the final and went back to Malaysia did I think back and realise the mental strength I needed to win silver,” said Datuk Lee.

He went on to reiterate to the student-athletes that mental strength is the main attribute needed to make it to the top.

Lee has not ruled out another shot at gold in the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games but for now, his focus is to avoid injury in the next two years. He intends to compete at next year’s Asian Games, Thomas Cup and Commonwealth Games, and if he is able to get some good results and stay injury-free, he will try and qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games – at 34.