KUALA LUMPUR: After five years of dividing time between being a national athlete and an undergraduate pursuing a tertiary education, Pandelela Rinong can now breathe a huge sigh of relief after finally completing her studies, whereby from now on she can fully concentrate on her stunning career as national diver.
When met after receiving her sports management science degree during the University Malaya (UM) convocation ceremony here earlier today (Tuesday), Pandelela, a 2012 London Olympic Games bronze and 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallist was clearly happy with her latest achievement.
"I am very happy and proud of myself because this is an achievement outside of sport which means a whole lot to me.
"Before this, I had to divide my focus and time for my career and my studies, but from now onwards I can fully concentrate on diving. So I am hoping and determined to do even better in the future,” said Pandelela.
When asked about the secret to her success in completing her tertiary education despite the demands and hectic schedule as a national diver who has to train hard daily and compete in both local and international diving competitions and meets, Pandelela revealed that the key to it all for her was sheer determination and will power, as well as not giving up.
"I have faced and gone through many obstacles and challenges. My journey as an athlete has also had its fair share of ups and downs, but I have made it this far because I was determined and never gave up regardless.
"My advice to all the youths out there is do not ever give up or buckle, push on with efforts to realise your respective dreams,” said Pandelela who had her proud parents, father Pamg Joheng and mother Hartini Lamin with her to share in her latest achievement.
Pandelela, 25, hopes to further her studies and obtain a masters degree as well, but she stopped short of saying when she would continue to pursue her tertiary education.
Pandelela enrolled as an undergraduate in University Malaya after creating history by becoming the country’s first Olympic medallist after winning bronze in the women’s 10m individual platform event at the 2012 London Olympic Games.