No dream is too big for Ng Ser Miang

No dream is too big for Ng Ser Miang
OC president-hopeful Ng Ser Miang.

SINGAPORE - He's known as the man with a knack for making what is not yet the stuff of dreams a reality.

Mr Ng Ser Miang's life has been a patient exercise in raising the bar. He spent the past four decades raising Singapore's sporting standards, goals and expectations and pushing sports up the rostrum of national priorities. He helped bring home the glint and glitz of Olympic medals and meetings, previously deemed way out of its league, to Singapore.

In just four days, he may sail in with his biggest catch yet - the presidency of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). If he is voted in to succeed Mr Jacques Rogge as IOC's ninth president, he will be the first Asian to land the job. Out of the IOC's eight presidents in its 119-year history, only American Avery Brundage (1952-1972) was not a European.

If Mr Ng makes the cut next Tuesday, it will mean relocating to Lausanne, Switzerland, for the eight-year term - unpaid, by the way.

If he doesn't, it will be business as usual. He still intends to devote the rest of his life to sports development, especially making his first love, sailing, Singapore's national sport. As for his plans to remain with the IOC, the man who chaired the Singapore Sports Council for 11 years from 1991, became an IOC member in 1998, made it to its executive board in 2005 and was voted its first vice-president since 2009, muses: "If I'm not elected, I will still continue to work in what I believe in as an IOC member. I can continue till 80." His term as IOC vice-president ends this year. He can stand for it again after a two-year break and is open to that.

For many years now, local reporters have asked the former Nominated MP if he was using sports as a propeller into politics. The soft-spoken, old world gentleman has always demurred, saying he is in it for sports alone.

The former national sailor says that single-minded devotion to the sporting cause - always "the end in itself" - helped him stay the course. "I didn't need to bend to the wind because I had no greater agenda to serve," he maintains in his Singapore National Olympic Council office at Kallang, crammed with campaign material stamped with the five rings.

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