The Aaron Chia you know now as Malaysia’s Badminton Doubles Olympics Bronze winner did not have it as easy as you might think. Like, Wooi Yik, he too faced some difficulties that could have led him to give up on his badminton career, but thankfully, he persevered.
Aaron Chia started his journey to the Olympics when he was merely 4 years of age. He would follow his father Chia Boon Foo to the badminton court. Watching his father play sparked an interest in the sport that, unlike many other children, did not fade away as he grew older.
Soon, at merely 11 years of age, he started representing Melaka in the sport.
It was in the court that this 24-year-old star badminton player learnt the true meaning of perseverance by facing tournament after tournament and opponent after opponent without fear and never giving up.
In a recent interview, his father explained how heartbroken and disappointed in himself Aaron was when he found out that he has not been selected to join the Bukit Jalil Sports School (SSBJ), Malaysia’s most prominent school for talented athletes.
While this could have led him to give up and we would not have been able to see the Aaron Chia we know now, he did not. Instead, he continued to strive to show his best.
His hard work did pay off as when he was 14, he was finally selected to join SSBJ, making his dream come true. A few years later, when he was 17, he started training with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
His father also explained that for the past four years, Aaron has persevered through all the challenges he has faced and made countless of sacrifices to be where he is today.
Chia Boon Foo also admitted that while watching the match live, he couldn’t help but shed a few tears and shout with joy when his son managed to bring Malaysia its first medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Although he was anxious and tense, he believed in his son’s and Wooi Yik’s ability.
He also added that the game was extra meaningful as it was their first appearance in the Olympics, and they managed to bring glory to the country while also uniting Malaysians who gave unwavering support.
It is true that all of us Malaysians came together as one nation while watching Aaron and Wooi Yik’s journey to success. It was truly a proud moment watching them defeat the world’s number 2 pair Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan.
Thank you Aaron for your sacrifices, and congratulations to you and Wooi Yik for your outstanding performance in the Olympics.