September 28, 2012 | Asia Pacific: Singapore

Just Like Us

By Karyn Tan

Guang Joo (in green shirt) plays his heart out on the pitch.

Athlete Guang Joo, Coach Yuchi and I were guests on a Chinese Radio program, talking about the South East Asia Unified Football Tournament. At first I was concerned that Guang Joo won't be able to tackle the questions, and was prepared to step in. It was an unfounded worry – Guang Joo handled the interview with ease. The hosts established a rapport with Guang Joo right from the start, guiding him along with questions on his football training, his job at the Coffee Bean, giving him a chance to speak candidly. Guang Joo’s answers flowed easily; nothing was scripted, it was heartfelt and real. The best part of the interview? Hearing Guang Joo's dream to open a café, "so I can support my mum, grandma, brother and uncle.” Our athletes want to do it all. Play sport, have a great job, take care of their family. Just like us.

About Karyn Tan: I'm a Communications Manager with Special Olympics Asia Pacific. I also keep pace with the athletes at the local Special Olympics Running Club.

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