With our nations very own Paralympic athletes being welcomed home by hundreds today, it was awe inspiring moment. The nation’s very first Paralympic gold medalist, Mohamad Ridzuan Mohd Puzi was surprised by the large turnout and once again teared up as he sang the national anthem passionately alongside the other Paralympic athletes at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A Heroes’ welcome was indeed what the atmosphere was as everyone celebrated their return home and their achievements. These young high achievers recently made history by bringing back the nation’s first ever gold medal in the Rio Paralympic games back in September.
In the Prime Minister’s speech, he described their achievements as an inspiration to all Malaysians and that is without a doubt true. “It’s something for us to be proud about, and it will push us to work even harder.” he added.
So with their return, I decided to honor the following living Malaysian legends whose lives are living testimonials that the only limit in life is your mind.
Mohamad Ridzuan Mohd Puzi
So let’s begin with Mohamad Ridzuan Mohd Puzi since I’ve already mentioned his name previously in the introduction of this article. Though you’ve probably read about his achievement in the recent Rio Paralympic games, what little people do know is that ever since the age of one, he was diagnosed with cerebral paralysis, a disability which affects the muscle tone, development and motor abilities.
Even though diagnosed with such of a disability, Ridzuan remains a cheerful individual who has never once let himself down and persisted through the expectations of countless of people. He started out getting into sports when he first entered school and ever since he never stopped training. Long story short, we see him on national television and newspaper headlines by winning the nation’s first gold medal for the 100m T36 sprint in 12.07 seconds at the recent Rio Paralympic games.
Let’s forget about this other Paralympic athlete who scored the nation’s second gold medal on the same night as Ridzuan. I think what’s really inspiring to me was that he started out as a hawker stall vendor Kuey Teow by Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. However this was all before he had decided to join the National Sports Council.
He was intially first spotted on the grounds of the London Paralympics in 2012 winning a bronze medal, which by all means was already a brilliant achievement to many. Never giving up even for a single moment, he trained harder and harder each day to only bring home what the best of the best desires; a gold medal in his hand after setting a new world record up the Shot Put F20 event.
Pushing his limits each and every time he performs, he has since broken three world records over the last five times he’s been on the field. Abdul Latif began his earlier life as a Mat Rempit but decided to put it all aside to pursue something more fulfilling in life.
Abdul Latif was amongst the three to win a gold medal in the recent Paralympic games in Rio. He suffers with the ability to focus which led him to only be able to read by the age of 15. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop him from achieving one of sport’s most prestigious achievements by breaking the world record once again. Time will only tell when he will break the next but we’re pretty sure we’ll see him shortly anytime soon.
Mohammad Aizad Ariffin
This next person will come to a surprise to many, not because of anything particular but because not everyone knows him. A few months back or so, I wrote about the first ever Starbuck Franchise to ever be fully staffed by deaf individuals globally. In my article, I included this man by the name of Mohammad Aizad Ariffin who was the first ever deaf Starbuck manager in the million dollar franchise.
You can find him in the Bangsar Village II outlet and he is undoubtly the most cheerful and dedicated Starbuck barista you’ll ever meet in your life – I guarantee. Though his current position is a manager, he didn’t always start off there as he had already been working for the company for three whole years already. Slowly by slowly, he worked his way up (and still working) to fulfill his dreams of becoming the first ever dear store manager.
Mohd Zaki Yamani
This next person is the true embodiment of the adventurer’s spirit. Ever since he was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2014, Mohd Zaki Yamani didn’t want to let that single setback determine his future. What he did instead was, he took only just RM13 of cash, his Identity card and some clothes with him and embarked on a journey few would take.
He backpacked all around the Peninsular Malaysia in order to spread awareness and prove that cancer isn’t a one-way ticket to death. What was expected to be a 13 day trip lasted much longer as he documented it all on his Facebook account.
His story went on to become such a hit sensation among many Malaysians that even by day 3, he never once touched the money he brought with him as other Malaysians alike who were inspired came out to help him in his adventure.
In conclusion, there are many more individuals who inspire me to unbelievable extent. They inspire me to truly live the life I seek and they’ve really taught me that the only true limit to the human spirit is the human mind. I would like to know who your inspirations are and are there any other Malaysians I ought to know as well, let me know in the comment section below. Thanks, cheers and have a great weekend!