Gold medalist Cycling is now a pedicab driver

Written By Reva on Senin, 05 September 2011 | 07.42

Gold medalist Cycling is now a pedicab driver
Adored when he was victorious, abandoned when it was helpless. Maybe that's the picture of the fate of some former national athletes who have it the name of the current state and nation.

Sad and heartbreaking story that happened to one of the national bicycle racing athletes from Surabaya, East Java, named Suharto. He now works as a puller (handyman) rickshaw.

Who would have thought, a former racer who is now 59-year-old had ever won gold medals at SEA Games 1979 in Malaysia for the number "Team Time Trial" a distance of 100 kilometers. Together with three colleagues at the time, namely Sutiono, Munawar Saleh, and Dasrizal, Indonesia cycling team capable of defeating competitors from Malaysia and Thailand to win the gold medal.

Two years earlier, in 1977 SEA Games held in Thailand, Suharto contributed two silver medals for the contingent of "Red and White" from the highway number and the individual teams.

"At that time, the team cycling Indonesia appear solid enough so that it can win the gold medal," Suharto said when met at his boarding house in Between Jalan Kebon Dalem VII, Surabaya, on Tuesday (30.08.11).

She shared that power cycling Indonesia in the era of 1970-1980's was well respected in the region of Southeast Asia.

Memories into the SEA Games champion has never forgotten Suharto. In a dorm room, which measures just 2 x 3 meters, Suharto tidy store all the medals and plaque that have been obtained from various national and international racing event.

Father of three children were also collected news clippings from various print media which includes the successful racing teams Indonesia, including photographs with President Soeharto.

"Everything is still my store and if you miss once, I open it again the clippings," said the man was born in Surabaya on February 18, 1952 it.

Suharto said, when it won a medal in the event the SEA Games, he and his friends never get bonus money from the government, as accepted national athletes at this time.

"We only get a sort of charter award given at the State Building East Java Governor Grahadi, Surabaya. It was just invited to meals, not given pocket money," he added.

Introduction to the sport bike racing is not accidental. It was in the early 1970s, Suharto was starting an exercise using a bicycle "pancal" his father's modified into a racing bike.

Despite not getting permission from his father, Suharto was desperate to follow the local bicycle race Surabaya Mayor Cup and emerged as champion. After that, Suharto's contemporaries with the former national rider Sutarwi and Sapari (both from East Java), joined a bike racing club Porseni Korpri Surabaya and follow some national-level races.

"I was called to join the national team after beating national rider at the championships in West Java, around 1975. Then I entered the team in 1977 SEA Games," he said.

Together with a number of national rider, Suharto had the opportunity of the Executive Board of the Institute of Sport Bike Indonesia (PB ISSI) following training camp in Switzerland for several months. Having just won a silver medal in 1977, two years later, Suharto was finally able to dedicate the gold medal for Indonesia.

"I decided to quit the race in 1981, due to economic demands. Moreover, while it also does not promise anything from the government to be given the job," he said.

Working odd jobs

After deciding to hang bikes, Suharto's fate becomes uncertain. To make ends meet, he was forced to work odd jobs. Being a helper on urban transportation, helping neighbors selling chicken or selling air conditioner (AC) used, had he lived before becoming a pedicab driver until now.

Together with his wife, he lived very simply and to move where boarders. Before renting a dorm room in the Kebon Dalem VII already occupied more than 15 years, Suharto never been boarding in the area Sukodono, Surabaya.

Everyday he is now a rickshaw puller in the area around the Tomb of Sunan Ampel religious tourism is not far from where she lived.

"The money from the pull rickshaws only enough to feed a family. If there is a tube for the rest of us pay rent a dorm room," he said.

However, nearly three months he had to break from routine pull rickshaws, because the hernia he suffered two years ago. Feeling can not stand the pain continues menderanya, Suharto dared come to the office of East Java KONI at approximately May 2011 to ask for help.

Daily KONI Chairman of East Java, Dhimam Abror Djuraid, very surprised and sank know the condition of former national athlete's bike racing. Moreover, when it comes to the office KONI East Java, the stomach was tied with former Suharto in bicycle tires as retaining hernianya pain due to illness.

"I assisted Mr. Abror to undergo surgical removal of the hernia. It sometimes still feels sick and has not been allowed to work hard," said Suharto.

Abror said it would seek help to get an award from the Suharto government, because it never has international achievements.

"Pak Harto was deserving of an award from the government. He was a champion of the SEA Games, but now his concern," he said.

The central government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Kemenpora) has a program of gift-giving homes to former national athlete who had it the name of nation and state of Indonesia in the international arena.

"I never read the papers, so do not know if there's a free home program for former athletes from the national government," added Suharto.

Although already 30 years old retired from cycling, Suharto still has the intention to return to his sport has ever raised his name was.

"If the opportunity and the capital, I pingin became coach. Ugly, ugly way, I've attended training abroad loh," said Suharto concluded. (ANTARA)
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