THREE-TIME Olympian Mirnawan Nawawi bathed in sweat and blood before achieving the highest glory as skipper and Flag Bearer for the nation.
And yesterday, when this interview was being held, he again gave blood for the nation.
This time it was during a Blood Donation drive.
"I have tears on my limbs, tears and broken teeth to show over the years of representing the country in hockey... but all of it has turned into sweet memories today," said Mirnawan.
Starting with the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he went on to play in the 1996 Atlanta and Sydney 2000. His last show was at the 2002 Kuala Lumpur World Cup, where he broke a few front teeth.
"Arriving at the Olympics as an athlete is the grandest feeling one can ever achieve and the memories will never go away.
"That's how special it is," said Mirnawan.
This coming from an athlete who has played in three Asian Games, one Champions Trophy and two World Cups.
"My best memory was being the Flag Bearer in Sydney 2000 where I lef the Malaysian contingent into the Olympic Stadium. I still get goosebumps just thinking about that!
But it was never easy for the Malacca-born athlete, and his advise is to be sincere to oneself and not cheat on training.
"The most important factor to achieve a ticket to the Olympics and World Cup is to be truthful in training. Don't cheat the coaches by doing one less push-up, or one less lap around the stadium when they are not looking.
"Run and train harder then the others, and even when one is on break from national camp, keep the same training momentum and don't cheat.
"Cos in the end, all the cheating and skimming will take you nowhere near the Olympic stadium."
Now a TV sports commentator, Mirnawan remembers how running the extra mile made him among the reared forwards in the world.
"All the extra training on my own made me nimble and light footed, and I could almost 'fly' with the ball. Don't cheat, and chase the impossible dream until you land it on your laps."
Mirnawan is still active as manager of the national juniors as well as with his attachment with Universiti Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club.
And his next mission: "To see Malaysia qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. That would be my fourth appearance as an official."