因为有你，才有了更好的我。… 抱你的时候，我真是觉得，这十几年，和你，仿佛是一场梦。 我会拿着你的球衣，和我未来的孩子说。有个叫李宗伟的叔叔，是爸爸最伟大的对手，也是最好的朋友。 — 于林丹李宗伟
Only because of you, there is a better me. … When I hugged you I felt the past ten years with you had been a dream. I will take your jersey to my future child and say, ‘There is an uncle named Lee Chong Wei, your dad’s greatest rival and best friend.‘ — Lin Dan to Chong Wei
When Lin Dan hugged then took off his jersey to exchange it with Lee Chong Wei, English-language television commentators said the gesture was one of true Olympian sportsmanship. They were completely wrong, and untrue. It was a deeply personal act, as Lin Dan’s letter (below) will show. Outside Malaysia, Chong Wei would joke that his name-initials LCW means ‘Let China Win’. Friendship and rivalry are simply the flip sides of the same coin: rivalry strengthens friendship and vice-versa, a concept that westerners and Anglophiles seem to have trouble understanding.
Malaysiakini English editors had on the night of the Olympic semi-final badminton match titled their report, ‘Lee Chong Wei slays Lin Dan‘. They weren’t just false in the word ‘slay’, but the editors also revealed their utter anti-Chinese prejudices and ignorance. Lin Dan’s letter to Lee Chong Wei (below in Chinese and translated English) will show that. It needed to wait a dozen years to write.
More to the point, the letter is a classic. In it Lin Dan reflects the deep and profound Chinese philosophical traditions and especially its existential outlook, preceding even Kierkergaard and Sartre, and in ways that illiterate Malaysian Anglophiles and Malaiyoos will never understand. The existential idea says this, without the existence of One, there is no the Other. Without Chong Wei, there is no Lin Dan and vice-versa; without silver there will never be gold.
Another Lin Dan example: “We’re not measured by results“. A few paragraphs later, he adds, “It took me some effort to beat the Indian kid… When I didn’t want to press on, I would remember my promise I had with you, the promise to meet you in the semi-finals…“
The inference is most profound: Lee Chong Wei, feted by all Malaysia as badminton master, could have been possible only because of another Chinese named Lin Dan, a good man from our Motherland.
Lin Dan’s letter first appeared in public in the Chinese sina.com site titled 情怀|林丹李宗伟给彼此的信 . It begins, thus, wuxiong zongwei 吾兄宗伟 My clan elder brother Wei. [Letter in English translation after the hanzi version.]
因为有你，才有了更好的我。我拿到了几乎都能拿到的冠军，却依然不敢放下心来去偷懒。本来我可以高唱着无敌最是寂 寞，可是因为有你，每次都把我逼出冷汗，每次都能在决赛和我隔网相对的你。你在后面拼了命的追我，我也不能就这样让你轻易杀过来啊。你练，我也练。你不服 输，我不敢懈怠。
Lin Dan’s Letter to Chong Wei the day after their Olympic semi-final match.
The English translation below, found in says. com, is not perfect but sufficient to reflect not just Lin Dan’s thoughts and feelings but especially his deep association with Chong Wei, a relationship rooted in their common Chinese ancestry, a cultural idea that transcends nationality and geography.
Such a feeling is possible only between two Chinese (not Anglophiles). Lin Dan spoke of it as the Lee-Lin relationship. That and the fact that Chong Wei and he had already met in the semi-finals explain why Lin Dan felt no longer compelled nor motivated to fight and win the bronze.
In beating Lin Dan, then crying over the victory, the Danish kid Viktor Axelsen thought he had beaten, with better skills, the World No. 1 badminton player. Axelsen probably thinks that skills is the final and most important arbiter in a contest. He could not have been more mistaken, but he doesn’t know it.
The letter is most moving when read in hanzi. From says.com: