My vision is to be the person I craved to have by my side when I was a young boy, with a big dream inside of me, or when I was a teenager playing basketball and dreaming to play in the NBA, or when I was a professional triathlete in my 30s dreaming to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
I needed that unconditionally supportive person, and that knowledgeable and wise guide so much.
I grew up in a family where men loved sports, and where women loved arts.
When I was a baby boy, women (and me) followed men, and that’s why everybody loved sports in my family.
But when I turned 7 years old, my grandfather (former soccer player) past away, my brother (future tennis players) moved away, and my father (former professional tennis referee) divorced my mother.
That’s how I grew up with this sports dream, lonely inside of me, surrounded by women (my grandmother, my mother, and my sisters) who taught me all the great things in life, but not how to protect and cherish my sports dream.
This is why it rips my heart when I see a sad, helpless or lonely athlete. This is why I have a new “favourite” team every 6 months. I don’t encourage the athlete whom I want to win. I encourage the athlete who is criticized. When this happens, it feels like this athlete is going through what I went through. It feels like I am seeing myself. It feels like my pain recognizes the pain this athlete is feeling.
This is the change I want to see in the world: no more athletes or people with big dreams, feeling lonely, isolated or without any support or guidance…and without any high-five.