What is it about Siobhan Haughey that draws me to her? That makes me cheer her on? That makes me follow her career?
I guess it’s that indefinable something called likability?
It’s something very different to why I am a fan of sporting heroes like Virat Kohli and Lewis Hamilton whose god given talents I admire. That’s it. Plus I respect those who can tame fast cars and I love my cricket.
When it comes to swimming, Siobhan Haughey owns the pool today.
She’s also a Hong Kong girl. And being a Hong Kong Belonger with a daughter who’s also an Eurasian, it’s something else to cheer on.
It’s strange to think that mixed marriages were something quite unusual not really that long ago.
My wife and I were told to expect any children we had to be described as a “half breed”.
Half breed. This still makes me think of a song by Cher. But our “half breed” turned out okay. So has Siobhan Haughey.
Siobhan Haughey is much more than okay. She’s someone special. And I don’t even know her.
She’s a brilliant role model for especially young girls and a great ambassador for sports.
Her successes around the world have come along at the right time for Hong Kong.
She’s a cheerleader for a city that’s been broken for too long. She’s helping make it whole again.
She’s showing many the way out of the darkness without even knowing it.
I watch her being interviewed and the interviewer actually often gets it the way. They’re redundant.
She knows what she wants to say and so she’ll direct the narrative, not in some controlling way, but by taking viewers with her and doing this naturally.
At a time when I am seeing more and more people with nothing to offer anything and anyone except another chorus of yakkity yak, it’s refreshing to hear reality bites of honesty.
Maybe that’s it, too- honesty.
Gawd knows, we don’t need to wade in the shallow end of the pool.
We need to find new challenges and create our own journeys and on our terms. It’s about personal pride.
Siobhan Haughey inspires me to examine and re-examine where I am in my life journey and how much more I need to accomplish before leaving and with no help from anyone except for my own resolve.
Resolve is also what Hong Kong needs. And it needs the type of motivation that drives Siobhan Haughey.
Her will to win is contagious.
So is that open and winning smile.
We need more reasons to start to smile again. Real, tangible reasons. We need to see others smile.
A winning open smile is contagious.