A Week of Ice Kacang, Futsal, and Five Colored Rings*

A Week of Ice Kacang, Futsal, and Five Colored Rings May 21, ’07 2:29 AM
for everyone

A Week of Ice Kacang, Futsal, and Five Colored Rings*

By Ani Karina S. de Leon


There are certain things in a person’s life that tend to create an impact on how he lives the rest of it.  These catalysts or triggers could be significant events, exciting places, or special people.  Or, if you’re really lucky, it could be all of the above at once.


Last month, I was fortunate enough to represent the Philippines in the 10th National Olympic Academy Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  There were around 70 participants, half of whom flew in from all parts of the world and half of whom were Malaysians.  Each one of us was below 35 years of age, was a sports leader or training to be one, and most importantly, each one of us was eager to make a difference for the betterment of sports in our respective countries.  An idealistic and formidable task, sure, but since we were all young and energetic I suppose it came with the territory.


So what was the objective of bringing us all to this convention?  Quite a lot, in fact, but the main aim was to imbibe the ideal of OLYMPISM into our hearts and minds, and from thereon the rest were details.  Honestly, I didn’t even know that such a word existed, but upon learning that it did, it was unsurprisingly easy for me, being an athlete for most of my life, to recognize the concept.  As a matter of fact, as I got to understand it more, I knew that I was very familiar with it because I had been practicing it throughout my career.  And for the first time the session gave it value, and for me this mattered a lot.  You see, I always tend to make analogies between sports and life experiences simply because it is something that I know best to do.


According to Mr. Chua Ah Tok, NOA Director of Malaysia, sporting education is the best and most effective tool available to educators the world over to help in forming morally and physically robust adolescents (and eventually adults), and that the age old motto of Olympism- Citius, Altius, Fortius, applies not just to sports but to everything we do. 


Citius: faster, not only in running, but also in the sense of swift perception.  Altius:  higher, not only with respect to an inspired aim, but also in the sense of setting a superior benchmark for the individual.  Fortius: stronger, not only in contest, but also in the struggle for existence.


Such is the magic that the Olympic Games can cast upon us, and for those particular two weeks every four years, we are spellbound. The five rings which display our racial and multicultural diversity are at the same time the glue that binds us together. For a moment, it doesn’t really matter where you come from—we are all the same.  Why is that we are so affected when we watch our athletes achieve unbelievable sporting heights?  We admire them because they too are fellow human beings who went beyond their so-called limitations and are able to realize their full potential as individuals.  If they can do that in sports, well then, we can do it in “real life.” 


Raise your standards.  Find your path, and do not live in mediocrity.  We are here on earth for a reason, and you may not be an Olympian athlete, but you definitely are built to be an Olympian in something else. 


P.S. Thank you to Ms. Gina Calaguas of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Mr.Chua Ah Tok, Mr. M.P. Harridas, Ms. Mae, Dr. Mean, Nick, Li Neo, Benny, Melissa, Chan, Sean, and all the other moderators and staff of the Olympic Academy of Malaysia.  All my love to Kiki, Quyen, Jamie, Nazroff, Katsuya, Petri, Udesh, Eddie, Elaine, Parissa, Jess, Jack, Kenny Roger, TEAMPLAY members, and all my wonderful batchmates in the 10th NOA Session. 

* From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. Ice kacang or Ais kacang (Chinese: Hanyu Pinyin: hóngdòu bing; literally “red bean ice”), is a dessert served in Malaysia. It is also known as air batu campur (ABC) in Malay. It is sweet-tasting and is ice primarily served with sweet flavoured syrup and jelly. The word Kacang (note that kachang is an old spelling) is a Malay word for bean, and the word “ais” is a translation of the english term “ice”. Other Asian Variations Include: Bingsu: Korean, Bàobīng:Taiwanese, Halo halo:  Filipino, Kakigōri : Japanese.

2. Futsal is an indoor version of football (soccer). Its name is derived from the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol sala/de salón, which can be translated as ‘indoor football’.

3. What do the Olympic rings signify?  According to most accounts, the rings were adopted by Baron Pierre de Coubertin (founder of the modern Olympic Movement) in 1913 after he saw a similar design on an artifact from ancient Greece.  The five rings represent the five major regions of the world: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Every national flag in the world includes at least one of the five colors, which are (from left to right) blue, yellow, black, green, and red.  It is important to emphasize that Pierre de Coubertin never said nor wrote that the colors of the rings were linked with the different continents.

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