KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 2012 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hopes the Olympic Games will inspire people to put aside their personal differences and come together in peace and harmony.
"There is much that we can accomplish in togetherness, and if we could adopt such an attitude all the time, and not just once every four years, I believe this world can truly be a better place," he wrote in his '1Malaysia' blogsite.
The 2012 Olympic Games open in London Friday.
He said that 30 of Malaysia's finest representatives would compete against the best athletes in the world at the London Games, and that Malaysians all across the country would be cheering them on.
Najib noted that people should not forget that the Games were not solely about who won gold or set a record, as the sporting event also played a much larger role.
"The sight of our fellow humans accomplishing great feats of the mind and body can inspire a generation to strive for excellence.
"The friendly spirit of competition also has the ability to unite countries regardless of race, religion and political ideals, and I feel that this spirit of togetherness is a very Malaysian one," the prime minister said.
Najib said it was truly endearing to witness it on such a large scale, especially in a city like London, one of the most cosmopolitan, multicultural and diverse cities in the world.
"The spirit of the Games will truly be alive in a city where 150 languages are spoken on a daily basis, even without the Olympics," Najib said.
Najib said much had changed since the Olympics first made its debut in the Greek world as a sacred festival - the Games now encompass 204 countries and lyric and epic poetry has come and gone as an event.
"However, much remains the same. Athletes still test their limits in the pursuit of success. Come the close, there will be winners as well as disappointed ones for missing out on medals," Najib said.
He said there was always something special about Olympic years, which he believed was in part due to the memories they created.
"I remember the Harimau Malaya qualifying for their first Olympics in Munich 1972 and being glued to my seat as we took on the German team. Sadly we lost 3-0, but I was so proud and inspired by every one of our players that day.
"And then 20 years later in Barcelona, I was overjoyed when I watched shuttlers Razif and Jalani Sidek win Malaysia's first medal, a bronze in the men's doubles," he said.
Najib called on fellow Malaysians to continue supporting local athletes as they looked to be champions of the Olympic spirit this year, and hopefully a few events too.