2018 has been an eye-opening year for Malaysia, especially on the sports front, with the 2017 Southeast Asian Games held in August, in which the country played host to. Besides Dato’ Lee Chong Wei representing Malaysia on an international level, as many more younger faces stole the spotlight with their many glimmering medals. One of these faces belongs to 21-year-old figure skater Julian Yee, who has seen much despite his tender age, being the first Malaysian to compete in the World Figure Skating Championships for two consecutive years, qualifying him to represent Malaysia and compete with the big boys at the 2018 Winter Olympics in February earlier this year in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR APPROACH TO SUCCESS?
It’s all about setting realistic goals. For me, goals are something calculated and within reach. Not only that, once you have set the goals, you have to put your words into action. You have to be disciplined and work towards them. There is no point in setting goals, within reach or not, if you don’t put in the effort to make them come true.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU THAT YOU SHOW UP AT THE GAMES WELL PREPARED?
It goes without saying that it is an honour to be given the opportunity to represent Malaysia at the Games for the first time. Unfortunately, since figure skating is still a relatively new sport in Malaysia and is not designated as a core sport for the country, we were not able to get sufficient funds from the authorities to compete at the Games. It is an uphill climb, but I’d prefer to treat it as a motivation for me to work harder. Personally, it’s something worth investing in. I don’t mind going the extra mile by crowdsourcing for funds myself and going down the lesser-known path, if it means promoting the sport in our country, and in turn, putting Malaysia on the map for this sport. I started this journey more than 10 years ago, and I want to go off on a good note, but it does not necessarily mean being an Olympic champion; there’s still a 50/50 chance that I might not win. But if at the end of the day, I’m able to give back to the community, so that future figure skaters (or any niche sports personalities, really) don’t have to go through a time-consuming and expensive route as I did, it’s more than I can hope for.