PETALING JAYA: Just before he boarded the flight to Rio, his five-year-old son presented him a picture of the Jalur Gemilang proudly fluttering in the wind.
National shuttler Chan Peng Soon’s son drew the picture himself. It was his good luck wish to his father.
Three weeks later, the little one’s wish came true. Chan and his partner Goh Liu Ying defied overwhelming odds to win Malaysia’s first silver medal in the mixed-double badminton category.
The duo stood with pride as the Malaysian flag was raised in Rio on Thursday during the medal presentation ceremony, together with China’s Xu Chen-Ma Jin (bronze) and Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (gold).
“We did not expect this. It looks like our son knew his father would make the country proud even before any one of us did,” said a happy Ester Cham May May, Chan’s wife.
The journey for the silver medal has been fraught with years of difficulty and hardship for Chan and Goh, who climbed all the way from World No. 79 to the Olympics silver medal in just one year.
Even when the Games were going on, Cham said her husband was already experiencing a lot of pressure.
“Throughout the Games, he hasn’t slept well. Although he says he is not tired, all of us close to him understand all the pressure that he had to endure and the effort he had put in.
“To win in the Olympics is his biggest dream as an athlete. And he has finally achieved it!” said Cham.
“The kids think their Super Dad is just amazing!” said Cham, a former singer with local band Da.Mon.Ster who is now a full-time mother.
Apart from the five-year-old son, they have a one-year-old daughter.
Meanwhile, fans of Malaysia’s badminton men’s doubles pair Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem have gone online to gush over them.
While their achievement of taking Malaysia within reach of an Olympic gold medal received many encouraging words, a check on Twitter yesterday showed there was also much chatter over their looks and availability.