PETALING JAYA: For squash legend Nicol David, there has always been great pride in representing Malaysia on the international scene.
The 35-year-old has won eight World Championships bearing the Malaysian flag.
She has been hailed as the greatest female squash player of all time by her peers and fans.
“You are representing so much more when you are going into the court playing for your country, ” said Nicol.
“I feel so proud to have carried the Malaysian flag throughout my career and I feel that pride coming through every time I’m competing.”
This, she said, was all the more meaningful with the backing of the National Sports Council and the support of all Malaysians.
“It gave me the energy and drive to push forward and to play better squash.”
For Nicol, to be a Malaysian is about representing a diverse culture.
“We are made of so many different cultures and as a Malaysian, I’m representing so much more.
“Sometimes we don’t realise it but we are built from that fabric and I’m proud to be a part of it and the beauty and love that it brings to the world as well.”
Born to an Indian father and a mother of Chinese descent, Nicol gladly identifies herself as a Chindian but maintains that she is firstly a Malaysian.
“It makes a difference coming from a multicultural family, as I also have a bit of Eurasian in the mix, ” she said.
“I was brought up in this loving environment surrounded by various cultures so we learnt to appreciate and respect our elders and the different cultures from a young age.
“Being a Chindian, you get the best of both worlds, enjoy the cuisine and at the same, have a sense of belonging to both.”
However, she also stressed that being Malaysian meant that “we are under one umbrella”.
Although Nicol will not be able to participate in the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk 2019 due to prior commitments, she is happy to see Malaysians gathering for the event every year.
“It’s great to see so many Malaysians coming together united as one in what they truly believe in. A walk also encourages healthy living.
“It shows that we are going towards something greater.
“We are all there encouraging one other and it brings so much representation to what Malaysia is about, ” she said.