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Rewarding our sporting heroes

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Mr Teo Chee Hean (second from right), Deputy Prime Minister and President for the Singapore National Olympic Council, with Ho Han Boon (middle), winner of Singapore's first Judo gold medal in 24 years. (Photo by VoxSports)

The contributions and selfless sacrifices that our sporting heroes have made for the nation have been undeniable. Countless hours of practice, blood, sweat and tears have been shed on the grounds of Myanmar to attain the 34 gold medals.

On 7 February, a ballroom reception was held at the Swissotel Merchant Court to recognise these contributions and sacrifices. In the 1990s, President Dr. Yeo Ning Hong who was heading the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) then, devised an incentive scheme to reward the medalists. President Dr. Yeo, together with DPM Teo Chee Hean and Ms Annabel Pennefather were amongst the people who were present to give out the awards to the athletes.

Team Singapore has made remarkable contributions on the waters of Naypidaw as the swimmers took home $115,000 for the impressive 11 gold medal feat. Joseph Schooling was the outstanding athlete, winning 5 gold medals and setting four records. The swimmer was awarded S$27,500.

On the other hand, Ho Han Boon from Judo won Singapore’s final gold medal in the over 100kg event. This marks the first judo gold medal in 24 years. 

Feeling elated about his performance at the Games, Ho said: “It was a tough fight and I did not know if I could win. For now, I see a strong team for Singapore’s Judo and I hope that our bond would bring us to greater heights!”

While commemorating the achievements of our athletes, DPM Teo said: “You not only gave us many moments to cherish and celebrate during the Games, but also made us cherish the journey you took to make the nation proud.”

As Singapore looks forward to host the 2015 SEA Games, most of the athletes are feeling the added pressure to perform on home ground. The 2015 Games would definitely be a breakthrough for the nation’s sporting scene.

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