There's More To Malaysian National Treasure Datuk Nicol David Than Just Squash

By Daween Maan and Sabrina Loh

The national treasure and Gen.T lister also likes hip hop, dancing and fried food.

Tatler Asia

The cliché “needs no introduction” is anything but when it comes to Datuk Nicol David. If you really don’t know who she is, you’ve either (a) been living under a rock or (b) been living in a hut, hidden in a remote cave that happens to be blocked-in by a really large rock. In either circumstance, let me welcome you to the real world/internet.

Nicol Ann David is one of the best squash players of all time, and definitively the most decorated athlete in the history of our country. The Penangite held on to the world No. 1 spot for 9 consecutive years, until September 2015, has won 8 World Open titles, 5 British Open titles, 9 Asian Squash Championships, and has set numerous records in the sport surpassing other great players, both men and women.

So, it was a no-brainer for us to highlight Datuk Nicol’s achievements and include her in this year’s Generation T list alongside other sports persons like Weiron Tan and Mohd Faiz Subri.

“It is an honour to be part of the Generation T list and thank you for recognising my efforts in squash,” she says in our correspondence.

“These last 2 years have been challenging. I’ve had to deal with the reality of not being at the top, but I’ve come to understand myself personally on a deeper level and it has helped me move forward to become a better and stronger player.”

“I hate losing,” she admits “and that competitive edge has always pushed me further every time, so my plan is to keep improving myself personally and as a player to get to that next level and my full potential.”

With plenty of literary landscape already dedicated to her over so many years, we decided to learn about the side not many people see – beyond the squash player. Here are some fun facts about Datuk Nicol David. 

1. If not squash?
Before finding her way to squash, she had ambitions of becoming either an engineer or architect. Thankfully the fates had better plans for her. 

2. Things she can't live without
She names her phone, a notebook and music as the three things she can’t live without. While the phone is self-explanatory, the notebook is for her hobby – doodling and the music, hip hop and R&B in particular, helps with her other pastime – street dancing. Check out her moves as she blends squash, hip hop and dance:

3. Serious daily diet
As you would expect, her daily diet is no-nonsense performance based starting with granola for breakfast, eggs or a sandwich for lunch, and either plenty of rice, noodles or pasta on the days she trains her endurance, or plenty of fish and meat on the days she trains in the gym. Although she does admit to enjoying anything fried or deep-fried; cheat days be damned.

4. Back home in Penang
When she’s back home in Penang she names char kuey teow and chilli crab as her must eats, and Batu Ferringhi beach, Chulia Court, The Tavern and ThreeSixty Skybar as her must visits.

5. Hopes for the future
Finally, she hopes to be a source of inspiration to other Malaysians to pursue more sporting activities and encourage more sports in schools, with greater sport development.

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