A true story from IPhO (International Physics Olympiad) 2006 in Singapore…
During medals awarding, we sat next to ambassadors from various countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and many more countries. The competition hosted hundreds of students from 86 countries. When honorable participants mention was announced, there was no Indonesian student. Ambassadors from several countries asked Indonesian ambassador for Singapore on why there’s no Indonesian student. He just smiled, softly.
Jonathan Pradhana Mailoa
Then winners were called one by one, the bronze medalist. Students from the Philippines, Thailand, Kazakhstan and so on were called to come to stage. Again, several ambassadors asked Indonesian ambassador for Singapore… Why no Indonesian students? He smiled again. And he congratulated the ambassadors whose student from their countries won the medals.
Now the Silver medalist. The presenter then mentioned a very typical Indonesian name. One small Indonesian with black cap on his head came to the stage. He was Muhammad Firmansyah Kasim waving a small red-white flag. He won the silver bronze, the sole silver medalist. Not few people were surprised.
The most awaited time for Gold medalist. The presenter announced that there were 4 (yes four) winners, and all came from… Indonesia. Four Indonesian students with black cap on their heads came to the stage and they were holding small flags with them, yes red-white. It was so touching moment.
Nope, it did not stop there. The presenter then announce that “the overall champion of the International Physics Olympiad XXXVII is……. Jonathan Pradhana Mailoa!”. Everyone jumped. Chilling goose bumps. Everyone began to stand, echoing applause for a very long time with standing ovation.
Almost all Indonesian people who attended the ceremony could no longer hold the tears from falling. Tears of joy, tears of emotion .Tears of pride as part of great Indonesia.
All fatigues disappeared immediately.
After the ceremony, everyone was greeted. People from Kazakhtan hugged tightly, saying “Wonderful job!”. Malaysian greeted and said “You did a great job!”. Taiwanese said: “Now is your turn…”. The Philippinos said, “Amazing…”. The Israelis said “Excellent work!”. The Portuguese: “Portugal is great in soccer but has to learn physics from Indonesia”. The Nigerian: “Would you come to Nigeria to train our students too?”. The Australian: “Great!”. Dutch people: “You did it!”. The Russians held their thumbs up. People hugged. The Iranian said, “Great… Wonderful!”. It was a very moving atmosphere… Words can’t describe.
This achievement echoed beyond ocean. A professor from Belgium sent an SMS, “The Echo of Indonesian Victory has reached Europe! Congratulations to the champions and their coaches for these amazing Successes!
Thank you, GNFI reader, for sharing this!
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