It’s a lot of pressure to be one of the top athletes in the world, especially at such a young age. All eyes are on you to witness not only your victories but also your defeats. The people will praise you to no end when you bring home gold or come first place but they can also tear you down with vicious words when you make the slightest mistake.
We can only imagine what it must feel like for badminton star Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉) as he has to carry a lot of weight on his shoulders since he ranked no.2 in the world last year. The weight seemed to have gotten heavier when not many agreed with his decision to proceed in his career without a coach. But what exactly happened to the athlete that made the hashtag #SorryZiiJia trend on Twitter? Here’s what we know:
It seems that people, including some of his hardcore fans, have forgotten that Malaysian Badminton player Lee Zii Jia is still human with flaws who will make mistakes in his career. Due to his declining performances as of late, the 24-year-old has been a victim of bad press and was heavily criticised by sports fans, experts, and fellow athletes.
After his recent loss at the Malaysia Open tournament, the 2019 SEA Games men’s singles gold medalist’s most loyal fans came to his defense, hence #SorryZiiJia was created. Scrolling through the social media site, many of the young star’s fans tweeted words of encouragement and showed their undying support for him in his career.
Supporters of Zii Jia criticised Malaysian media for their distasteful and discouraging headlines regarding his recent performances with many believing that the overwhelming hate he has received will not necessarily motivate anyone to do better.
After being compared to badminton legend Dato Lee Chong Wei, it’s no wonder why people are so harsh on Lee Zii Jia when he doesn’t meet their expectations. But it’s important to remember that while he does have the potential to become a legend himself, it will be his own legacy alone and not necessarily the successor to anyone.
At the time of writing, the ace player has not commented on the recent negativity. We hope the young athlete isn’t too hard on himself and knows he got his fans behind his back. Their overwhelming support will be the fuel to his motivation for success.