Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh are two names that will live long in the annals of Singapore’s sporting history.
Our Team Singapore swimmers both flew the national flag high by bringing back two Gold and a Bronze in Singapore’s best ever showing at the Paralympics.
After their lovely reception at Changi International Airport early on Wednesday morning, the history making pair held court at a press conference at the Singapore Sports Institute in the afternoon.
Livening what are usually dour undertakings with their zest for life, the pair showed how their easy chemistry and support for each other made their experience in Rio a beautifully memorable one.
“I’m still waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up,” said Theresa, when asked if the fact that she has won a medal in Rio has sunk in. “I’m sure one day I’ll wake up and go 'woah, this is real',” she continued.
Prior to her Bronze medal feat, Theresa revealed that her best friend was instrumental in helping calm her down. The world record holder told her to have good “training” sessions to help her get over her nerves.
“When it comes to competition, I’m like nervous and scared, but training, it feels like, just train lah,” she said.
The best friends have been there for each other through ups and downs, and their enduring friendship was evident through this Games, especially when Theresa finally won a very emotional Bronze medal.
“We’re very lucky that we have this chemistry,” said Theresa about their friendship.
“We’ve gone through a lot in life together and she is like the sister I never had,” Pin Xiu also said.
While the pair share a very unmistakable bond that has been forged through years of friendship, the team spirit and camaraderie among the Team Singapore Paralympic contingent was no less evident during the Games.
“We are always there to listen to what they have to say," said Pin Xiu, when asked about esprit de corps among the athletes. "We like to go to different teams and just chit-chat with them during meal times and just before bedtime."
“We try to live everyday as fully as we can” - Theresa Goh, Team Singapore swimmer
Pin Xiu’s degenerative illness cast a shadow on the festivities as the topic of her health was brought up.
“I won’t say I don’t worry about it. We try to live everyday as fully as we can,” said Theresa, while the ever-bubbly Pin Xiu chimed in with a timely “Hakuna Matata” – a Swahili phrase that roughly translates as “no worries”.
The Singapore Management University student suffers from muscular dystrophy, but her mental fortitude and attitude towards life hardly betrays the fact that she suffers from a life-long degenerative disease.
It is not the quantity of our lives. It is the quality of how we spend each day.” - Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, Chairman, Singapore National Paralympic Council
Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, Chairman of the Singapore National Paralympic council, also encouraged all persons with disabilities to give sports a chance as it will improve their lives tremendously.
She reminded us of the importance of living each day fully. “It is not the quantity of our lives, but the quality of how we spend each day,” said Dr Teo-Koh.
A One Team Singapore Celebratory Parade will be held for the Paralympic contingent on Saturday morning starting from Seng Kang Sports Centre to National Library at Victoria Street and ending off at VivoCity. Join Pin Xiu, Theresa and our Paralympians as they make their way around the island to thank you for all your support!
(Click to enlarge)