Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Simple Thank You

I was recently in Florida for the PanAm World Championship for dragon boating.The support we got from the Khmer community in Florida was enormous. Words cannot explain how thankful I am; but I’ll do my best to describe how I feel.
When first entering this race our team had talked about why we were doing this; for what reason were we in Florida for. Along side many others I said that I was here because the Khmer Krom Dragons were my family and that family stick together. We work hard together. That was the reason why I was there with them. But I later realized that it wasn’t for us that I was striving to win for, it was for the sea of supporters that stood cheering.
On the boat your surrounds are to be tuned out. Heading towards the starting we passed a huge white boat that prohibits us from seeing the other corner. Once we turn the corner, BOOM, that tingly feeling begins. Flags of blue, yellow, and red waving from side to side. People waving and yelling. Screams of “Go Khmer Krom!!!” all seem to mesh into one strong voice. You can just feel the excitement in the air as we approach the starting line. I know that we are suppose to stay focus once we are in the boat, only to pay attention as to what is happening in the boat. But how can you not notice a beautiful site like that? They brought me a feeling that I can’t describe.
At that moment I knew it wasn’t for me, or for the team, and not only for the Khmer Krom communities everywhere, it was for those supporters who were on the sidelines. They are what pushed me to strive to win. I’m pretty sure the rest of the team feels this way also. We couldn’t have done it without them. Not only did they provide food and a place for us to stay, they gave us their hearts and soul and they cried out “Khmer Krom” Some of them may not think they did much to help but if you were one of those who were cheering or waving a flag, you made a difference. Your voices have been heard. People will always remember that day. I know I will.
A simple thank you is not enough to show how grateful I am have had a tremendous amount of support. I may not know all of you personally, but as a whole you all have a place in my heart. The wins goes out to you guys. 
Khmer Krom Dragons in Tampa to take part in the 1st Pan American Club Crew Championship
More Photos from Khmer Krom Dragons

Khampy Kotalas