The people in charge would not admit it but we are facing a period of decline in sports.
The data is clear.
For the first time since 1998, Singapore is ranked 20th in the Asian Games medal tally.
The last time we were ranked 20th was at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima.
The number of total medals won has also dipped tremendously.
The stats can’t lie.
Similarly, Singapore returned with 0 medals from the Tokyo Olympics, for the first time since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Yes, other countries are surging ahead, and it also means we are lagging behind.
The decision makers should be judged by how well, and by how poorly we do at such major Games.
That’s a barometer of success, and of failure.
The athletes aren’t to blame, but it’s the system behind them.
And in this case, what’s obviously lacking.
The administrators will claim that nothing is guaranteed in sports.
They are right.
But ignoring the statistics over the last 10 years which show a clear downward trend would also mean that they are blind to what’s blatantly obvious.
This isn’t noise.
These are inescapable facts, and finishing fourth in 10 events, as an example, can also mean the people tasked to lead may lack the necessary know how to take athletes to the finish line.
Athletes and their families sacrifice their lives to represent the country at a major stage.
The least the decision makers can do for them is to recognise that we need to give them a lot more support and get athletes the help they need so they can help us win.
Stop riding on the successes of individual athletes and skirting around the issue.
We are in decline.