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theresa pin xiu athlete village 01 TeamSG

Rio Daily: For Team Singapore Swimmers, A Moment of Fun Before the Action Begins

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From a distance they looked like two girls simply having fun taking photographs by the Rio 2016 sign inside the Athletes Village.

A day before the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, there were plenty of athletes soaking up the atmosphere, chatting with their teammates or newly-made friends from other countries.

 

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TeamSG swimmers Theresa Goh (left) and Yip Pin Xiu ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. Photo: Sport Singapore

 

But the shock of bleached blonde hair would have been recognisable to anyone who has followed Singapore’s para-athletes in recent years.

In front of the sign, which has quickly become a meeting point for competitors, Team Singapore swimmer Theresa Goh was laughing and joking with the teammate Yip Pin Xiu, a Paralympic champion eight years ago, who will be the flag bearer in Wednesday’s opening ceremony at the iconic Maracana Stadium.

“It’s great here,” said Theresa, who was the flag bearer for the Singapore contingent in London four years ago.

 

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The pair just had time to pose for some professionally taken media pictures before rushing back to the adjacent Team Singapore accommodation and then off to their scheduled training session.

Because, for all the fun and camaraderie to be had in the Paralympic Village - where athletes eat, sleep and dream, there is serious preparation to be done.

Theresa has a massive collection of medals from the ASEAN Para Games and meets across the world but has been working hard to add a Paralympic medal to her collection.

Pin Xiu won Gold and Silver in Beijing in 2008 in the S3 backstroke and freestyle but after taking a break from the sport finished fourth in both her events in London.

 

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The pair will be hoping that they can secure podium places at the Aquatics Centre in Rio - the same venue where compatriot Joseph Schooling stunned the world by winning the Republic’s first ever Olympic Gold medal in the 100m butterfly.

Singapore has brought their largest ever Paralympic contingent to the Rio with 13 athletes taking part in a record number of six sports: athletics, archery, boccia, equestrian, sailing and, of course, swimming.

Along with Theresa and Pin Xiu, the contingent comprises boccia athletes Nurulasyiqah Binte Mohammad Taha and Toh Sze Ning, equestrians Laurentia Tan, Maximillian Tan and Gemma Rose Foo, sailors Jovin Tan and Yap Qian Yin and late additions archer Nur Syahidah Binte Alim, wheelchair racer Norsilawati Binte Sa’at, long jumper Suhairi Bin Suhani as well as Muhammad Diroy Bin Noordin who will be competing in javelin and shot put events.

 

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