Early Friday morning, a special group of people gathered at Bendemeer Secondary School, Yip Pin Xiu’s alma mater, to watch her triumph once more.
Students, teachers and alumni roared as Pin Xiu appeared on the projection screen in the school hall. Almost the entire school was there to show their support for Singapore’s golden girl.
Students of Bendemeer Secondary School gathered to catch Pin Xiu live in the Women's 50m Backstroke (S2) event. Photo: Sport Singapore
Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, was also in attendance and was plainly caught up in the moment as she cheered for Pin Xiu.
Pin Xiu's then-form teacher Mrs Agnes Tan was in attendance as well.
“She has shown us a lot of values that the school tries to inculcate in our students. Things like perseverance, resilience and determination. She exemplifies all these values,” said Mrs Tan.
“Each time her name is mentioned I really feel a sense of happiness for her. She’s a very bubbly girl, very humble, very modest and she has a never say die attitude."
When asked what she wrote on Pin Xiu’s report card after the Paralympics Mrs Tan said: “Continue to inspire us, continue to do your best and be happy always.”
Pin Xiu's former classmate, Candice Goh (above), wept tears of joy as Pin Xiu won her second Gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Photo: Sport Singapore
Three of Pin Xiu’s former classmates and friends were also there to watch her win Gold. Angie Khong, Anusha Rai and Candice Goh recounted how Pin Xiu was always “jovial, bubbly and out spoken” and how “everybody loved her”.
Some of her friends struggled to keep their emotions in check as they wept tears of joy when Pin Xiu touched the end of the pool to win her third Paralympic medal.
Pin Xiu’s Team Singapore team mate Sophie Soon was also emotional as she said, “It was definitely very inspirational.”
“I think being her team mate made it extra special. It shows me that if you truly want to accomplish something and you have the power to work for it you can succeed.”
In case you missed Pin Xiu's 50m Backstroke winning moment ...