Malone talks to Hong Kong Students: with love and dreams, it will always be the year of fighting
(the spirit of the times Yao Xiangjiang) MA long talks to Hong Kong Students: with love and dreams, it will always be the year of fighting
Hong Kong, December 5 (reporter Chen Xiaoyuan) “Every time after the Olympic Games, many athletes will be known and loved by everyone. Many times I think about what kind of idols we need in this era. I think idols should be candles and mirrors, reflecting you and us with love and dreams; with love, we will always be the year to play.” Ma long, champion of men’s singles and team table tennis at the Tokyo Olympic Games, said in Hong Kong on the 5th.
mainland Olympic athletes demonstrate to Hong Kong citizens. The picture shows table tennis player Ma Long performing with Xu Xin and Hong Kong athletes. China News Agency reporter Zhang Wei Photo
on the same day, Malone and many other Olympic athletes shared their stories of participating in competitive sports with Hong Kong students at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Malone started playing at the age of 5. At first, his parents just wanted him to strengthen his body by playing table tennis. Malone paid attention to the table tennis competition of the Olympic Games for the first time in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, “The moment I saw the Chinese team win the championship and kiss the national flag on my chest, my blood was boiling. At that time, I might wish that one day I could play on behalf of China and win the gold medal.”
Malone said that since then, table tennis, a hobby in his spare time, has become a link carrying his dreams. He worked hard to train and didn’t give up every chance of training and competition. He entered the provincial team from the children’s palace, went to the Beijing team, and finally came to the national team. At the age of 18, Malone went to the Bremen World Championships team with the national team and won his first world championship Champion: at the 2015 Suzhou World Table Tennis Championships, he won the men’s singles championship.
“in the Rio Olympic cycle, I didn’t lose an off-site battle, and the foreign media described me as a’hexagon soldier’. But I think I haven’t reached it yet, which is the direction of my efforts.” Malone said.
at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Malone won the singles championship and became a “Grand Slam” player. “Watching the five-star red flag rise because of me in the Rio Olympic Games is my happiest moment, and I finally realized my childhood dream of winning glory for the country.” he said.
in most people’s opinion, Malone, 28, should retreat quickly after the Rio Olympic Games. At that time, his head coach Qin Zhijian asked him: “can we still go to Tokyo together? Why should we go to Tokyo?” Malone replied, “I want to go, I think I can play.” the coach smiled and said, “that’s not enough.” Malone said that at that moment, he could not deeply understand the coach’s meaningful words.
due to his playing habits and perennial high-intensity training, Malone’s left leg knee had some wear and calcification, and he has been undergoing physical therapy in recent years. Since the second half of 2018, he withdrew from the competition many times due to injury and was away from the international arena for 8 months. After the 2019 Budapest World Table Tennis Championships, Malone Long’s leg injury reappeared. For a long time, even if it was physical training, the knee began to swell and accompanied by severe pain after a little measurement.
“less than a year before the Tokyo Olympic Games, surgery is the only choice in front of me. Before the surgery, I shaved my head and hope I can start from scratch.” Malone said that for some time after the operation, he could only walk with crutches and carry out simple physical training.
“I didn’t play for so long, but I really felt how much I loved the sport.” Malone said that during those days, he spent most of his time in the rehabilitation hall. He occasionally picked up the racket and waved twice in front of the table. If his goal is to win the championship before 2016, his goal in this injury has become to be able to stand in front of the table he loves and continue to play.
“I told myself that even if I didn’t catch up with the Olympic Games because of injury, I would continue to stand in front of the table and continue to play.” three months after the operation, Malone returned to the field, and everyone’s impression of the “hexagonal soldier” began with the loss. “Injury defeated Malone”, “he’s too old” and the era of “hexagonal soldier” is over. ” … in those days, all kinds of discussions rushed forward.
when he was tortured by injuries and failures, Malone also asked himself: can I return to the top? What is the significance of sticking to it? “But it was at the darkest moment of my career that I realized that table tennis has become an irreplaceable part of my life. It is like living in my body. I love table tennis too much.” He said.
before the start of this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, a reporter asked Malone, are you afraid of failure? He said, I will also be afraid of failure, but I prefer to win. With this belief, Malone, 32, stood in the Olympic Games again and finally won two gold medals.
“After the game, I gave everyone a heart, and this heart was also given to myself, to those who didn’t give up in difficult times.” Malone said.
“in addition to the gold medal and champion, table tennis taught me most about how to face winning and losing in my more than 20 years of sports career.” Malone said that as a competitive athlete, I have to face winning and losing every day on the field. “Only when you have the determination and efforts to win, can you move towards success; but sports teach us not only the courage to win or lose, but also the courage to start over after failure and the belief not to give up in a desperate situation.” (end)