Our Young Reporter, May Chen, had a little chat with Olympic legend, Frankie Fredericks when he visited the Athletes’ Village. He was in Singapore as an Athlete Role Model for the first Youth Olympic Games. This is her report…
Fredericks took the time to remind the young athletes at the Youth Olympic Games that an athlete could be competitive and still make friends at the same time.
Fredericks said: “You have to do whatever you do a hundred per cent. Even if you fail, you can walk away knowing that you did your best.”
But the duration of a race is just about the only time he becomes the ultimate competitor.
“I always had the philosophy that the 9-to-10 seconds during the race is the only time you compete. It’s only during this time that I make sure that I reach my goals and walk away being satisfied with what I’ve achieved,” said Fredericks.
One of the things Fredericks is best remembered for is at the 1995 World Championships, when he went to fellow competitor Linford Christie’s aid after he crossed the finish line. Christie had pulled a muscle earlier in the 100 metres event.
“I worked hard, I made sure I sacrificed where I needed to sacrifice. But I also wanted to make friends along the way – I didn’t want to make enemies,” he said.
He added that he is thankful to have been given the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives, and called on the young to treasure this rare chance.
“It’s the way you carry yourself. For you to be the chosen one, you have to be thankful.”