MANINDERJIT Singh (left) had a dream of playing in the hockey World Cup and Olympics, and he never regretted giving half his life to the sport.
The two-time Olympian played for the country in 1996 Atlanta and was among the last hockey players to see action four years later in Sydney.
Malaysian hockey failed to qualify for the Olympics since, but Maninderjit has a formula.
"Dream, athletes must dream of playing in the Olympics and World Cups before they can finally claim glory. That was what I did as a youth struggling to play hockey in Klang.
"I dreamed of representing the country in the Olympics, and with a detailed plan and training hard on my own after official training is over, I achieved my target of playing in two Olympics," said Maninderjit.
And it was worth the blood and sweat he spilled on the artificial pith over the years.
"When I reached Atlanta in 1996, I was in tears of joy and the Games Village was awesome as we could mingle freely with the NBA Stars (The Dream team) and sprinters Michael Johnson and Maurice Greene (Sydney 2000).
"They were icons, and still are. I admired their discipline at the Village, and it stuck with me for the rest of my life," said Maninderjit who last played in the 2002 Kuala Lumpur World Cup.
A disciplined man himself, Maninderjit never likes to give up in any match -- even a friendly.
"Play every match like its a final, never take friendlies lightly. If you want to compete as an athlete in the Olympics and World Cup, every time you take to the field, give your very best. Because once over, the moment will never return but remain as good or bad memories," said the Olympian.
Malaysia finished 11th both times in Atlanta and Sydney, but it made Maninderjit into a complete athlete.