Photo of Tao Li from CNA

New citizen Singapore national swimmer from China, Tao Li, today (Jun 25) gave a scathing comment on Singaporean athletes saying they are not hungry enough to win and that is why they do not win unlike herself, “I did it”. In an interview with radio channel 938, Tao Li said:

“Once you choose a sport, you need to really focus, and really go for it, and don’t give up. So now I’m actually coaching the older athletes, like 14, 15-year-old athletes. They just maybe come 5 times a week and wonder, “How come I’m not improving?” So when I was an athlete, I didn’t see these kinds of things, but now that I’ve become a coach, I do.  They look at each other and say, “If he could not come for training today, maybe tomorrow I won’t come for training.” They’ll think, “It’s so hard for me to wake up in the morning, and have to go into the water, and to do some intensity work. I don’t want to, because after that I need to go school.” They think that’s too tiring for them. They don’t really have the mindset. And they’re not hungry enough to want to win. Because if you want something badly, even if you have to go to work after this, you will come early, you will come on time. I did it.”

Tao Li also revealed that she joined Singapore for only the money and worked hard only for the lucrative prize money:

“But before I became a famous person, back when nobody knew me, how I got there – nobody wants to see that. They just see when you get famous, and then they’ll say you just want the money. No. Not true. We have to work hard for the money that is there, for every single, cent. It’s not only me. If you swim and win the Asian gold medal, you will also get the money.”