The road into the clutch of sports facilities at Toa Payoh is flanked by ugly, poorly-paved car-park slots.
It has been that way for as long as I remember.
The football stadium, swimming complex and indoor arena boast plain brick and grey mortar.
Singapore table tennis is housed at the sports hall; it is the home of world champions, headquarters of Olympic metal workers, although it is spartan and spectacularly drab.
If only there was a billboard or signpost to inform visitors they were entering a world-class piece of sport's real estate in the country.
If the 2008 Olympic Games was meant to be a watershed moment for Singapore sport, perhaps it was an opportunity missed.
Four years later, there are no kids hanging around outside the sports hall hoping for an autograph from table tennis star Feng Tianwei.
Any surge in interest in local sport among Singaporeans has been unremarkable.
Four years later, we dare to hope once again.
The 2012 Olympics in London from July 27 to Aug 12 will feature some of Singapore's all-star cast from the Beijing Games.
It will also be the ultimate stage for gymnast Lim Heem Wei to take her bow.
She boasts two blocks of muscle like thunder chiselled into each thigh, but the 23-year-old will surely be a 1.50-metre box of nerves when she begins her programme in London on Aug 2 at 4.30pm.
The New Paper kicks off our countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games today with Lim as our cover girl and a rallying call for hope.
Singapore table tennis is eyeing two medals in London after the women blushed silver in the team event in a breakthrough moment in 2008.
Tao Li is desperate for another swim for Singapore's history books as she guns for a medal in the women's 100m butterfly.
But they have been there before.
Lim has breathed hope into Singapore gymnastics.
She will be the first Singapore gymnast to feature at the Olympics, not through a wildcard invitation, but after qualifying on merit.
Lim is not a contender, but a trailblazer.
In a sport where Asians are giants on the world stage, where size is dwarfed by the gifts of suppleness and flexibility, and strength can easily be developed, the hope is that Singapore Gymnastics and the Singapore Sports Council work to capitalise on Lim's achievement to inspire a whole army of the country's boys and girls to follow in her footsteps.
Joseph Schooling gives us hope of a swimming medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but the 2012 Games will be crucial to his development.
The 17-year-old is the only Singaporean swimmer to have met the "A" standard for Olympic qualification, in the 200m butterfly, and is aiming for a place in the semi-finals in London.
He has been in the US since he was 14, chasing a dream while studying, backed by mum and dad who believe in their son's sports talent and the four-letter word hope.
Joseph will have to produce a swim for the ages in London to make the final, but this Games should be school for the teenager.