《敗者為王》

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《敗者為王》
作者:李宗偉
出版社:布咕

「維持這個排名,是我必須每天清晨五點起床,周而復始地以汗水和淚水一點一滴積累而成。」

「身為運動員永遠要記得,你的對手絕對不會停下腳步,訓練一刻都不容許鬆懈。」

2016奧運羽毛球男單決賽,中國諶龍對馬來西亞李宗偉的情況仍歷歷在目,轉瞬間下屆東京奧運於明年夏天又到,賽季即將進入奧運計分階段,對世界頂尖羽球手來說,欲爭取一張入場券的自然要打醒精神。

馬來西亞羽球王李宗偉去年公開宣佈自己罹患鼻咽癌,至今雖已康復,但這位三屆奧運男單銀牌得主現已屆三十六歲,明年奧運大有可能是他的最後一屆,然而是否有機會參戰仍屬未知數,倘若其奧運之路就此謝幕,難免叫人為之黯然。

翻查資料,李宗偉奪冠無數,而且職業生涯雄踞世界排名第一位置累計長達350周,是前無古人的記錄。然而,除了奧運之外,在眾多羽球大賽如世錦賽、湯姆斯盃、蘇迪曼盃及亞運等,他同樣偏偏從未得過冠軍。因此「無冕球手」之名不脛而走,他於2012年出版的自傳叫《敗者為王》,也不無點點自嘲意味。

李宗偉在出版《敗者為王》之時即將出戰2012年倫敦奧運,當時不知道他會否預料到自己不只當屆,甚至是再下一屆的里約奧運仍然無法擺脫「二奶宿命」?無論如何,對並非體育強國的馬來西亞來說,誰能為國家掙到一面奧運獎牌已是難能可貴,所以勇奪三面奧運銀牌的李宗偉自然是國家英雄。

在《敗者為王》中,李宗偉自述了前半生的傳奇經歷。在物質維艱的童年,一塊羽毛球拍也許已是奢侈品,但李宗偉仍是放不下對羽毛球的迷戀。這份由衷的熱情,使他在面對離鄉訓練、出外比賽,以至面對一眾宿敵時仍然無畏無懼,永不放棄。

Dare to be a Champion
Author: Lee Chong Wei
Publisher: Bukuganda Digital & Publication

‘To maintain this ranking, I must get up at five o’clock every morning and press on repeatedly with sweat and tears.’

‘As an athlete, you must always bear in mind that your opponents will never let the grass grow under their feet, so you cannot afford to relax even a bit in training.’

While the memories are still fresh over the 2016 Olympic badminton men’s singles final between Chen Long from China and Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia, the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games are already opening next summer, and it’s time to enter the Olympic qualification stage, where top badminton players around the world strive to secure a place in the competition.

Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei publicly announced that he had been suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer last year. Although he has since recovered, the triple silver medallist at the Olympic Games is now 36 years old, and next year’s Olympics is likely to be his last one. With his chances of participation hanging in the balance, it will be sad to see Lee calling it a day without competing in this next Olympic Games.

Looking at his career statistics, Lee Chong Wei has won countless championships, and has been ranked the world’s number one for an unprecedented record of 350 weeks in total. In addition to the Olympics, however, Lee somehow has never won a championship title in many major badminton tournaments, including the World Championships, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup and Asian Games. Being labelled the ‘Uncrowned King of Badminton’, he might have even been trying to ridicule himself by naming his autobiography published in 2012 Dare to be a Champion.

When Dare to be a Champion was published, Lee was about to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. At that time, could he have expected to live with the fate of playing second fiddle not only in that Olympics, but also in the following Rio Olympics? In any case, it is no small feat for a player to win an Olympic medal for Malaysia, which is by no means a sports superpower. As a three-time Olympic silver medallist, Lee truly does deserve to be considered a national hero.

In Dare to be a Champion, Lee recounted his extraordinary experiences during the first half of his life. Although a badminton racket was almost considered a luxury during his poor childhood upbringing, Lee’s passion for badminton did not abate one bit. Regardless of leaving his home for training, competing in foreign countries or facing fierce rivals, his wholehearted enthusiasm made him a formidable competitor who never gives up.