ON A WING AND A PRAYER BY LEE CHONG WEI


The time has come as the Olympics have officially got underway with the spectecular and eye catching opening ceremony on Friday night.
I watched the opening ceremony in my hotel room and this was the third opening ceremony of the Olympics that I failed to participate and I was sad when watching it over TV as this will be my last Olympics.
Much effort has been put in by the organisors to create an event that captures the culture of the British and it was amazing scenes that I believe were truly appreciated by the audience worldwide.
Though we are not staying at the Games Village, the organisors have made provisions for teams to stay at a hotel within walking distance of the Wembley Arena, the venue for the badminton event.
It was delightful to see so many fans making their way to the stadium on Saturday, the first day of the badminton event. They were patient although there was a long wait due to the stringent security checks that they had to undergo.
For us as players, it is always refreshing playing infront of appreciative fans and also full stadiums and from what I seen so far, the fans are making a beeline towards Wembley Arena to watch badminton being contested.
Coming back to my preparations, I have done the best I can under the circumstances.
Returning from an injury is tough for any athlete and it was no different for me as there are loads of factors that need to be taken into account when in rehabilitation.
I have been fortunate that I have had fantastic people looking after my recovery process, right from the doctors, conditioning exterts, physiotherapists and massuers from the National Sports Institute. They have been wonderful and put up with a lot to ensure that I was fit enough and challenge for gold at the Olympics.
My coaches, Tey Seu Bock and Rashid Sidek have been preparing me well, keeping me on my toes on the courts and ensuring that I remained focussed.
They have been spending hours analysing videos of my potential opponents and Rashid, despite fasting, has been working really hard to watch the opponents play at the Wembley Arena.
Some have claimed that I am under pressure to deliver. They are entitled to their opinion as I know my ability and promise the nation that I will use every ounce of energy to ensure that the hopes and aspirations of Malaysia are met on August 5, the day of the final.
As I have constantly said, I am taking it one day at a time but that will not stop me from looking towards August 5. The incentives are there and the RM2 million gold bar was a welcome surprise.
I know the passion KLRC Chairman Dato Seri Andrew Kam has for badminton and it’s a timely boost for the badminton players to deliver at the Olympics.
Chang Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying as well as Tee Jing Yi may not have had a winning start they were looking for but they played well and could have won. They still have a chance and I expect them to give it their best shot in the remaining matches.
As for Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong, there is hunger in their eyes, something not seen of late and they will make the last eight with relative ease following their workmanlike performances against the Japanese pair.
I sign off today, looking forward to my first competetive match on Monday.  Stepping on to the courts will signal my return from injury and the start of my quest for gold.
The prayers of 28 million Malaysians will be my driving force, with my mother rooting for me in the stands of the Wembley Arena.
Lee Chong Wei.