The life of the average high school student usually consists of simply waking up, attending school, and continuing this tiring cycle until the long awaited summer. In these teenage years, it’s hard to imagine doing anything greater. However, there are some students who have bigger duties, and fervent passions, one such student is Michael ‘18.
It all started in the 5th grade, when he decided to try shot put for the school’s track day. Then a series of learning new track events followed due to his, “I’ll give it a shot” attitude. In 8th grade he learnt discus, then came events such as javelin in 9th grade, and more recently he began triple jump during last year’s track and field season.
Now at 16, these are the events that he partakes in as a member of the Indonesian national team, where he represents the capital state DKI Jakarta, and also as a member of a club situated in Sydney. He shared that when he was asked to be a member of his current teams, his family was nothing less than ecstatic. “I believe that I have a very supportive family. My mum being an ex-national athlete, my dad being a national squash player, and my step dad being an ex-olympian; I guess you could say that sport is in my blood and I couldn’t be more happier.”
But Michael isn’t one to remain stagnant, he recognises that there is still room for improvement, “I was also shocked by what I’ve achieved but I know that I still have a long way to go.”
When asked what advice he would give to others hoping to achieve what he has, he wisely shared that, “if you find something you love and are good at it, invest your time in it. Don’t doubt yourself and keep working hard… Also, don’t be afraid to get out there and get noticed. You can’t possibly think that you’ll be a national athlete in a heartbeat; you need to go out there, register in a club, participate in competitions, and work your butt off.”
He often isn’t recognised for his high successes, but he humbly states, “recognition is always nice and it’s a very heartfelt thing to experience if it’s a public announcement, but on the other hand, it pushes me even more to work hard. And at the end of the day, you’re the athlete, you’re the one that is representing your state, and you’re the one that’s doing the work, and whether people know or not doesn’t bother me that much, but my friends who I interact with usually, do know, and that’s all that matters.”
You can find Michael in his upcoming, mid-march, state championships at Sydney Olympic Park. Or even, as he hopes, in the Olympics of 2024, but either way in all he does he will certainly be, “dominating humbly.”