PETALING JAYA: Getting voted as the World Games’ Greatest Athlete of All Time will serve as a sweet consolation of sorts for Nicol David, who never realised her dream to play in the Olympics.
Nicol never got the chance to be an Olympian as squash was never included as an Olympic sport.
Nicol has said before that she wants to achieve her lifelong dream so bad that she would trade all her world titles for a win at the Olympics.
“I would trade all of my world titles for just one Olympic gold medal.
“Every world title means the world to me, so that’s how important the Olympics is to me, ” she mentioned in an interview many years ago.
For former Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) executive director and secretary Lt Kol (retired) Wong Ah Jit, not getting the chance to play in the Olympics was one of the major disappointments in her career.
“Nicol really wanted to see squash going to the Olympics.
“We came closest to making it at the London Games as we were on top of the considered list of sports.
“But somehow, we were left out at the last minute.
“If squash had got in back then, we would have had an Olympic champion in our midst today as Nicol was on top of her game back in 2012, ” said Ah Jit, who served in SRAM for 23 years from 1983-2006.
Ah Jit presided at a time when Nicol was just starting to learn the sport as a six-year-old.
“We have to thank the Squash Racquets Association of Penang committee member Ee Phoeh Hoon who spotted Nicol when she was only eight. If not for her, there would be no Nicol David today.
“Nicol is the perfect role model for every Malaysian to emulate.
“She would always give her best in training and was really disciplined even from a small age.
“It is not just about having discipline but you must know your goals and have the commitment to follow through to be the best athlete in your sport.
“Otherwise, you are just wasting your time in the national team, ” said Ah Jit, who also recalled the time when he became the guardian of a young Nicol when she was travelling from Penang to Kuala Lumpur for training sessions.
“I would pick her up from the Subang Airport those days and then send her back every Sunday evening.
“I did that for 10 years – since she was six until she reached 16, ” he added, recalling the sweetest moment was when Nicol won her first world title in Hong Kong in 2005.