On 11th September, 29-year-old Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi cinched Malaysia’s first Paralympic gold medal in the 100m T36 (celebral palsy) event, breaking Ukraine’s Roman Pavlyk’s record since the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.
After the historic event, Astro Arena interviewed his coach, R. Jeganathan, who is also the National Paralympics head coach for athletics. When asked about what he wanted to say to Ridzuan, Jeganathan said that the sprinter is like a son to him.
The touching video, which was uploaded on Astro Arena’s Facebook page on Sunday, went viral and as at time of writing, it has since gained over 430,000 views and was shared almost 5,000 times.
“He considers me as his father so he does whatever I say. That’s his result. He loves me and I also treat Ridzuan Puzi like my own son. He can’t speak but we both understand each other through sigh language,” he said.
Jeganathan then hugged an emotional Ridzuan and said, “This is my son. Thank you Ridzuan. I may push and scold you during training, but this is the result. Understand?”
Netizens who watched the heartfelt video left encouraging comments on Astro Arena’s Facebook page, saying that love and respect is the key to success.
One Facebook user known as Shamz wrote, “Respek, sampai tahap macam ayah ngan anak, ni baru Malaysia united” (Translation: Respect till the phase where (they are) like father and son. This is the true ‘Malaysia united’).
You can watch the full video below:
Perlis-born Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 1. According to his father, Mohamad Puzi Mat Isa, the sprinter was discovered in 2004 when the Perlis Youth and Sports Department conducted selections for para-athletes.
We cannot express how proud we are of you, Ridzuan ? Thank you very much for your hard work, dedication, and spirit.