Monday, December 5, 2005

So, this is my swansong (05/12/2005 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM

Date : 05/12/2005

Headline : So, this is my swansong

IT is no longer possible for me to savour every single moment of covering
the biennial multi-sports festival called the SEA Games.
I came to this conclusion as the 23rd edition in the Philippines comes
to a close this evening in Manila. After enjoying the privilege of
covering 12 successive SEA Games including this one, Manila is no doubt
my swansong.
The Games, I believe, has grown into a monster, a far cry from my first
encounter with the Games in Singapore in 1983.
The Games is no longer held in one city and there was no Games Village
this time.
My mind harks back to 1991, when the Manila edition was more organised
while the venues were easily accessible. It is no longer possible for me
to enjoy the Games and cover the events first hand.
A good number of journalists have been reduced to camping in the Media
Centre, watching the events in the live feeds available at the Centre,
collecting results and then making phone calls to get their stories.
But as a firm believer of field reporting, I wanted to soak up the
atmosphere, and share the joys and the tears of an athlete to help me
produce a good story.
I have done my bit trying to be at various venues, including flying
from Manila to Bacolod City to cover the football matches.
In the past 11 Games, some of which went on for a full two weeks, I
lasted the pace. This time I feel I have spread myself thin. I have
bitten more than I can chew, so much so my nocturnal activities had been
Even a young first-timer like Ghaz Ramli is showing signs of fatigue,
preferring to stay in the room to regenerate himself instead of spending
a late night exploring Manila.
For me, my knees have given up on me. When I came down with a bad bout
of flu, sore throat, body aches and fatigue from Day 3 until this exact
moment when I'm toying with the keyboard, I know this must be my last
Certainly I am going to miss covering the Games, but like an athlete,
one has to call it quits when the going is good.
The SEA Games has been an integral part of my life, an aspect of
reporting which helped shape my career as a sports journalist.
I'm glad that I'm bidding the Games farewell in Manila. I will always
have fond memories of my time in the Philippines, thanks to their
pleasant inhabitants.

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