Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games ended with Norway leading the medal tally.

The 23rd Winter Olympic Games, Pyeongchang 2018 concluded yesterday with a spectacular closing ceremony. This winter games did not receive much media exposure and hence I find it difficult to find any website to watch the ceremony last evening. In the end, I only managed to watch highlights of the closing ceremony from one or two news.

Norway led the medal tally with 14 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze for a total of 39 medals. Norway, which came in second place at Sochi 2014 emerged as the overall champion in this latest edition of the games. Germany came in second with 14 gold, 10 silver and 7 bronze while Canada made it to third place finish with 11 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze. The host nation, South Korea had 7th place finish with 5 gold, 8 silver and 4 bronze. This winter games are usually dominated by European and Western countries as winter sports are more common and popular over there than in Asia. With a bit of home advantage, South Korea emerged as the top Asian nation in this games.

This is the first Winter Games for Malaysia. I am not expecting any medal finish since my country is very new to this. There are only two athletes representing Malaysia and I can see they have placed their effort in it although they lost in the end. Malaysia do not have winter season and so it’s much harder for us to take part in winter sport. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to more participation by the Malaysians in winter sports in near future.

I have noticed one sport that looks weird to me. I have never seen it before. After a bit of research, the sport I mentioned is called ‘curling’. Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. The curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to slowly turn as it slides, and the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms who accompany it as it slides down the sheet, using the brooms to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone. The action of the brooms is the one that made me laugh a little. It’s really the strangest Olympic sport I have ever seen and this is the first time I’m seeing it from Pyeongchang 2018 although this sport has been contested in the previous games before.

So now, this Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games has ended. The next edition will be in Beijing for 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing, China will be the first city in history to have hosted both Summer Olympic Games (in 2008) and Winter Olympic Games (in 2022, 4 years from now).

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


29th SEA Games, Kuala Lumpur 2017 closes on the Merdeka Eve

After about two weeks of competitions, the 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur 2017 has finally came to an end. The closing ceremony was held yesterday in the same venue, Bukit Jalil National Stadium on 30th August 2017. That’s also the Merdeka Eve (a day before Malaysia’s 60th anniversary of independence).

The ceremony fell short of excitement as there isn’t any performance by the next host country, Philippines. The host country of the next games has to deliver a performance in the usual tradition of the closing ceremony. However, Philippines had only decided to host it not long ago, they had no preparation to deliver a performance in that short notice, and that they wished to save the budget for the games’ hosting two years later. Hence, a no show from them. It was just a simple and formal handover ceremony from Malaysia to Philippines. This games also see among the worst performance by Philippines as they only won 24 gold medals, well below the 50-gold medal target they set earlier. Well, I’m sure they are going to do much better in the next edition as it is going to be hosted by them. Home advantage.

Same goes to Malaysia this time. Home advantage. And adding that with some obvious biased decisions by the judges in several sports in this games. The end result is an extraordinary victory for Malaysia in this games. We collected 145 gold medals, 92 silver medals, and 86 bronze medals, for a total of 323 medals. That’s more than enough to top the medal tally (Thailand came in second with 72 golds, we get more than double of that). Our last biggest achievement in this games was way back in 2001 (also held in Kuala Lumpur) when we won 111 gold medals. We set 111-golds as our target this time too and we accomplished far beyond that. Despite all the biased judgements and organizing sports that Malaysia is good at (typical for any host countries), I have to still admit that Malaysia really did a good job here. Well, it’s quite easy to win medals here. We have to move on after a word of congratulations! We have to raise our bar high by aiming to win more medals in bigger games like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.

Back to the closing ceremony. The ceremony was very boring. There is no cultural performance by the next host country (Philippines) as stated earlier, and there is only a very short performance by Malaysia to end the games. Other than that, it was all the formal stuff (handover, extinguishing of flame, national anthem, parade of athletes, etc). After that, the ceremony is dedicated as a Merdeka countdown celebration with over an hour of boring singing. The song choices are very poor (all Malay songs with no universal appeal) that did not highlight the diversity of the nation. How do you expect people from other countries to enjoy this? Even I as a Malaysian do not like this too. I thought there would be a grand countdown to Merdeka but that is not happening. Instead, we got a speech from the Prime Minister which is a happy news for all Malaysians too because he announced next Monday as an additional public holiday to mark the success of the country in this SEA Games. I think that’s the only one good thing that comes out from his mouth. Well, that holiday didn’t mean anything to me as I’m now here in Australia for my study. Sad…



All my people back in my country is enjoying this long 5-day of holiday combining Independence Day, Hari Raya Haji, the weekend, and this one extra special public holiday. I’m jealous of that. After the Prime Minister’s speech that ended past 12am, there is no official countdown to this historic day to my major disappointment. Even the fireworks that end the ceremony are not much. Everything in the opening ceremony is much better. This closing ceremony is like ‘well, we shall end the games by just showing how proud we are to be the overall champion of the games…that’s it’. No effort, no creativity, and no ‘wow’. This also belittles the participants from other countries and foreign audiences.

There would be this 9th ASEAN Para Games (sports for the disabled) to be held next month. After that, we say goodbye to KL (still a good host despite all the negative issues like wrong flags, biased judges, bad bus drivers, bad supporters’ attitudes, etc). Next SEA Games, Manila 2019!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Bye Rio….Rio 2016 had been a great games.

Sorry for a very late post on the conclusion of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Rio 2016 has concluded with a wonderful closing ceremony on 21st August. I only have the time to write about it over two weeks later as I’m away for my workshop and trip to Taiwan. I have just returned home few hours ago and I’m already quickly getting back to update my blog here with the post on the concluded Rio 2016.

I didn’t manage to watch the closing ceremony but from what I have seen from news and reviews about the ceremony, it all looks pretty well for Rio. There was rain but that didn’t dampen the spirit of ending the games with a big bang. Here are some images of the closing ceremony with the original source from


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I also heard from many others that the Tokyo 2020 introduction segment overwhelmed compared to the rest of the show with appearance of iconic Japanese creations like Super Mario, Doraemon, and even Japanese Prime Minister himself was there for the performance. I’m sure Tokyo will deliver a very exciting games in 2020. As for Rio, I’m already surprised that they can still pull it off despite all the challenges and negativity surrounding the country. I believed the closing ceremony was still a good one (don’t expect something spectacular or out of this world level).

As for the overall medal tally, United States topped the list as expected with 46 gold medals which is way far ahead compared to other countries. In second place is Great Britain with 27 gold medals. China came in third place this time, having grabbed only 26 gold medals. As for my country, Malaysia, eventhough we failed to collect our nation’s first ever Olympic gold yet, Rio 2016 still marked Malaysia’s best ever performance with 4 silvers and 1 bronze. It is of course disappointing of not winning any gold again despite the many opportunities this time, but we knew our Malaysian athletes tried their very best. Still a big congratulation to Malaysian team in Rio 2016!

Eventhough the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was over, there is still this Paralympic Games that is going to be held in this month. After that, only then we can change the focus from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Tokyo, Japan, the host city for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now, we have to wait another 4 years for the next edition of the Summer Olympic Games. The fever of catching up to intense competitions from various sports is over. Well, time to focus back on my study then…

28th SEA Games, Singapore 2015 concluded.

The 28th edition of the South East Asian Games (simply known as SEA Games) has finally ended yesterday after about two weeks of intense spirit of sports shown by all the 11 participating nations in Singapore, the host country. The closing ceremony was held yesterday at the new National Stadium in Singapore Sports Hub. The closing ceremony was short and simple (took less than one and a half hour), but was nevertheless beautiful and meaningful. The most interesting part of the show is the stamp segment of which stamps depicted in larger animated 4D formats translated the history of Singapore. The country is achieving 50 years of independence this year. The massive fireworks display in the end was awesome!





The organizers kept it quick and clear so that there wouldn’t be any boring moments except for one; the performance segment by Malaysia, the next host of the games. It’s very embarrassing to see Malaysia putting up such a poor show here, in a way to introduce and welcome ASEAN to the country in 2017 for the next edition of the games. Very disappointed. We kept on delivering traditional-styled or cultural-based performances which were slow, very dull, unappealing, outdated and boring. I think we will put up poorer opening and closing ceremonies 2 years later compared to what Singapore have done this year. The probability for that is very high. We should really fire up our creativity skill on delivering performances in ceremonies.

Thailand came out top in the medal table. The country maintained the overall champion status as they came out at No.1 too in overall medal tally in the previous edition, Myanmar 2013. Usually the host country will perform exceptionally well probably due to higher number of athletes competing, hence higher chances of winning as well as the undeniable bias judgement to host nation in several subjective sports. And that is why Singapore emerged as the first runner up in the overall medal tally. They have more medals than Thailand, and this is their best achievement in the history of the games held once every two years.


Vietnam came out third. Now, here comes my country, Malaysia at 4th placing. That is considered a good position for the country which is recently criticized for poor performances in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games held last year. In Singapore 2015, Malaysia obtained 62 gold, 58 silver and 66 bronze with overall medal count at 186. It is a vast improvement to our previous medal tally of 43 gold, 38 silver and 77 bronze back in Myanmar 2013 (the last edition). We have also successfully achieved our earlier target of 50 gold medals. We have even broke the 60-gold milestone and this is one of our best achievement in SEA Games’ history.

Congratulations to all the winning Malaysian athletes! You make us all proud. Diving is proven to be the best sport for us in the region as we swept all the 8 gold medals contested in this particular sport. Our country also performed very well in archery, bowling, sailing, and squash. I paid close attention to badminton, and I’m very disappointed that Malaysia failed to win gold in the team events. Fortunately, we did better in individual events by winning 2 out of 5 gold medals. However, our Malaysian badminton team has to work harder for the following bigger games and championships as I still find that we are poor in several areas in the sport.

Now, the 28th SEA Games, Singapore 2015 had finally came to a beautiful end. The next edition (29th) will be held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017. That’s my city. SEA Games, see you in Kuala Lumpur 2017! And then after that, we will set our target further to host bigger sporting events like Asian Games. Hopefully…


(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


Incheon 2014 ended. A good games but not for Malaysia.

The 17th Asian Games, Incheon 2014 finally came to an end after over two weeks of superb performances from athletes across Asia in 36 sports. China dominated the medal tally standing as expected, with 151 gold, 108 silver and 83 bronze, staying ahead comfortably with huge margin. Coming in the second place is the host nation, South Korea with 79 gold, 71 silver and 84 bronze. Japan took third place with 47 gold, 76 silver and 77 bronze. These three nations remain as the three strongest in sports in Asia.


What about my country, Malaysia? We set 8-gold medal target, and we had only obtained 5. Besides that, we took 14 silver and 14 bronze, and together with the 5 gold mentioned just now, Malaysia is placed far behind at 14th. Our athletes performed below target or expectation, but we knew that they tried their best. This is just not the year for Malaysia. We had also performed poorly in this year’s Commonwealth Games at Glasgow. In the previous Asiad, Guangzhou 2010, Malaysia won 9 gold, the best in our record. This time, we even lowered the bar and yet we still failed to achieve it. Somebody needs to seriously review our athletes’ form to prepare for future games.

Incheon 2014 concluded with its closing ceremony yesterday held at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium, the same venue for its opening ceremony. It was attended by Prime Minister of South Korea, President of Olympic Council of Asia, dignitaries, and over 60 000 audiences in the stadium. The near 3-hour ceremony began with a group of children singing two Korean songs. Then, it was followed by Korean cultural performances particularly highlighting on traditional dances and costumes. The performances are quite artistic, but it would be better if it involves more performers for a much grander feel. There were many time when there was just too little people on the stage performing, and that wouldn’t contribute to impressive show in any means. On the other hand, I enjoyed the taekwando segment. Impressive eventhough I can see some performers failed to perform in several challenging stunts.






In between these performances, there were a number of video projections depicting some great moments during the games. Great flashback. Then, it’s time for usual procedures; arrival of athletes and flags of all 45 participating Asian nations, speeches, lowering of the flag of Olympic Council of Asia, extinguishing of flame, etc. A simple handover ceremony was then conducted to pass the job of hosting to the next host of the games, Jakarta, Indonesia. The city will host 18th Asian Games in 2018 after Hanoi, Vietnam pulled out earlier due to financial constraints. A segment showcasing Indonesian colourful cultures and dances was then delivered. On the other hand, the Samsung MVP Award, honoured to the most successful Asiad athlete is awarded to Japanese swimmer, Kosuke Hagino. I’m glad that our Malaysian squash queen, Nicol David at least made it into the shortlist of eight for the award. First time a Malaysian is shortlisted though.






Before the closing ceremony ended with fireworks display, there is still time for K-pop of course. It is the most symbolic thing that connects South Korea to other parts of the world. CN Blue, Sistar and Big Bang performed to huge cheer from the strong 60 000 crowd. Generally, Incheon 2014 has done a great job in hosting the games despite facing several criticism like unfairness in result’s judgement in several events that were biased in favour of host nation (expected, and it always happen) and also criticism on the lack of effort put into its opening and closing ceremonies. For the latter point, I understood since the organizing committee had only spent little amount on it. For me, its opening and closing ceremonies aren’t that bad. Just that they aren’t memorable or magnificent and would not leave any lasting impression to the world. Next Asiad; Jakarta 2018.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Nanjing 2014 concluded with a good but short closing ceremony.

The 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing 2014 ended yesterday with a splendid closing ceremony at Nanjing Olympic Sports Center, and was attended by Li Keqiang, the Premier of People’s Republic of China and Thomas Bach, the President of International Olympic Committee, together with over 60 000 people in the stadium. After 12 days of competition from youth athletes from over 204 countries and territories, the games finally closed but the Olympic movement goes on and gets even stronger.


Similar to the way of watching its opening ceremony two weeks ago, it was just so easy to click onto the official Online TV website of Nanjing 2014: to watch its closing ceremony. Convenient and free of charge. The closing ceremony was quite a short one, taking less than two hours. Deducting all the usual ceremony’s protocols at the first half of the show (arrival of participating national flags, speeches, playing of national anthems and raising of flags, etc), the performances took the last half of the ceremony.

And the unfortunate thing occurred during the ceremony was the downpour again. The weather isn’t helping at Nanjing 2014 at its most important times as it was too raining during its opening ceremony two weeks ago. But that didn’t dampen the spirit of the performers and the audiences. The energy was high…I can sense it from the 60 000 strong crowd in the stadium and also from the thousands of volunteers and performers. The performances in the closing ceremony were scaled down back with lesser dramatic or jaw-dropping moments. However, the quality, synchronization and the way each performance segments delivered were still brilliant and amazing. Simple yet colourful, with big thanks to the beautiful animated light projections.










The part that I liked the most would be the performance of different type of dances distinctive to various parts of the world. It reminded us that this is not only the games to show-off China as the host, but also the event to unite and symbolize the world. Every continents do take part in this games. And that is why this is Olympic Games (youth version). The ceremony ended with a poignant feel as the huge Olympic flame on top of the stadium was extinguished, signaling the official end of the games. And wait…there isn’t much fireworks again, just like its opening ceremony. For that, I’m disappointed again. They should send it off with a massive ‘bang’ but anyway, they still presented a good closing ceremony (better than the West).

My country, Malaysia is doing quite well in Nanjing 2014. In official medal tally, my country scored 1 silver and 1 bronze. But Malaysia actually obtained 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze in total as the extra 1 gold and the 1 silver are from Malaysian athlete teaming up with athlete of other nation and compete under Mixed NOC (National Olympic Committee) flag. This mixed-team is only allowed at Youth Olympic Games, not in Olympic Games.

Goodbye Nanjing 2014. Four years later, it would be time for Buenos Aires 2018, the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games. And the ambassador to that is none other than Lionel Messi, the highly popular football player from Argentina. So…Nanjing 2014 ended. But wait…sporting events this year seem like not stopping. Next month, we would have Incheon 2014 Asian Games.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Glasgow 2014 was a successful games, but ended with a boring ‘concert-like’ ceremony

I was already not that happy back in 2012 when London 2012 organizing committee staged the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games to look more like a concert. An opening or closing ceremony should be bold, artistic and features mostly performances (synchronized routines or sequences that represents the nation) while the singing only made up minor segment of the show. London 2012 does the opposite and I was quite unimpressed with how they end the magnificent Olympic Games. And now, Glasgow did that again for its 20th Commonwealth Games’ closing ceremony held yesterday at Hampden Park Stadium.


Britain Commonwealth Games

I’m sure the audiences packed the stadium to enjoy the atmosphere and to check out what the organizing committee can offer to end the games. They were not there to watch a concert! If I’m there, I guess I would just wait boringly till the conclusion; the fireworks. I understood the aim of the organizers to create some sort of a party to end the games ‘wildly’ and ‘joyfully’. But doing it in a form of concert isn’t working. That basically sum up my thought of the just concluded closing ceremony of Glasgow 2014. Nothing much Scottish too. Its opening ceremony is slightly better.



I can say straight away that the ceremonies of the games took up very little budget. Appreciate their effort on saving or spending less money, but wouldn’t you put in extra effort to make the ceremonies memorable since it will be watched by millions of people around the world. Ceremonies are significant on showcasing the best of your country as the host to the whole world. And they take it for granted. Sorry to Glasgow, Scotland. It is a beautiful city with beautiful people. But the ceremonies weren’t right.

The closing was a further disappointment. Won’t complain any further. It is the organizers’ fault. It’s lack of effort and meaning. Lack of performances, and lack of essence of what a real ceremony should be. But I guess people will still enjoy the atmosphere at that time in the stadium packed of over 40 000 spectators. Part of the closing ceremony features popular singer, Kylie Minogue. Hmm…singing again. Another waste to a segment which is supposed to be on Australia’s hand to give us a glimpse of what Gold Coast could offer as the next games is to be held over there in 2018. The only catchy part of the ceremony is the ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (this iconic melody came from Scotland) segment that concludes  the show together with the fireworks display.




Well, it is still no doubt Glasgow staged a very successful games. A pure dead, brilliant games as mentioned by Prince Imran of Malaysia, the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

In Glasgow 2014, England finally topped the medal tally with 58 golds, 59 silvers and 57 bronzes. Very consistent in all three medal types won. In many previous editions of the games, Australia led the tally. This time, Australia came in second with 49 golds, 42 silvers and 46 bronzes. Also very consistent. Came in third was Canada with 32 golds, 16 silvers and 34 bronzes. Top three in the tally are always these three nations. Coming in fourth is the host country, Scotland with 19 golds, 15 silvers and 19 bronzes. That’s not surprising since host country usually do well. Previous host, India came in at fifth place with 15 golds, 30 silvers and 19 bronzes. My country, Malaysia only ended with 12th placing; 6 golds, 7 silvers and 6 bronzes. Poor outcome by Malaysian athletes this time. Hope our athletes will perform better in future games.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)