Mohindar Singh Grewal: Missing the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games was like a very bad dream. You want to erase it from your mind, but it keeps coming back
The hockey team had already qualified for this Olympic competition. My teammates were delighted to be representing Malaysia.
However, just about 11 weeks to go, our dream of being called “Olympians” was shattered by the Malaysian Government’s boycott of the Moscow Olympics. Malaysia had joined in the USA-led boycott.
My teammates and I felt totally let down and upset with this decision. There were so many unanswered questions… why was this happening to us? This was “politics” and we the sportsmen had to pay the price for it.
So disappointed was I, that I refused to keep any news clippings relating to the boycott and Moscow Olympic hockey competition.
If not for the boycott that would have been my second Olympic appearance after the 1976 Montreal Games. It would also have been the last time I would have made it, as age was catching up on me.
We had put in four years of hard work, dedication and discipline just preparing for Moscow. The pain and sacrifice we had endured to make our country proud did not matter to the decision-making politicians.
Sports should be above politics, but it was not to be for some people who used us for their political image.
It is very frustrating to an athlete whose greatest dream is to play in the Olympic Games.
Missing the Moscow Olympics will always be that nagging thorn at my side.