Solid gold, in and out of the pool
11 September 2017
“The past years circled around what I wanted to do – in that way I've been selfish. After Rio, I was finally able to really venture out there, to do more, to be a voice to things that interest me.”
– Theresa Goh
From feeling weightless in the pool, to lending weight to issues that concern her, Theresa's down-to-earth nature has seen her work transcending beyond swimming – she now actively supports causes close to her heart.
“Because of the place I'm in, and the safety that surrounds me, I feel like I can talk about animal, environmental and human rights. I feel like there's that responsibility,” she states.
#ICYMI: Theresa's near 2 decades of competitive swimming has not been an easy journey.
Her work within the pool isn't going to be neglected though. She is considering a future in coaching the next generation of para-swimmers, passing on the knowledge she has gleaned over the years to benefit up-and-coming athletes.
And what kind of a coach does she aspire to be? “Ideally I would be a coach that you can talk to and approach, and have an open communication with,” she quips.
“I feel like Uncle Siong (former national swim star, Ang Peng Siong, who is her current swim coach) and I have a really good relationship, he doesn't do anything that's scary or fierce. So, depending on the (future) student, if he or she is always willing to listen, I'll be willing to impart whatever I want to impart, and hopefully it helps.”
A supportive team with a golden touch
No one is as clear as Theresa Goh on what is is like to miss out on a golden opportunity to make it to the podium – she well aware of the fact that one day, someone will be faster than her. Taking that acknowledgement as motivation for her to work harder, she admits that part of her doesn't want it to happen despite it being inevitable.
Helping her to prevent that from happening for as long as possible is the sports science team at the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI). After Theresa had received much-needed support from the spexScholarship in 2015, the funding to train full-time as well as the advanced science to boost her timings have contributed immensely to her continued longevity as a swim champ.
Says Theresa on the sports science team, “It is such a big team effort. There were moments where I was kind of worrying a bit about what I was going to do, and Jin Hong (the previous sports psychologist) would always be available to talk. Ryan (the biomechanist) played a big part in coming in to sharpen my strokes. Carl (the physiologist) would be there to take our blood and pee samples. He had left his family and newborn behind for a few months (to work on the athletes), so it is not easy for him. He's sacrificing a lot.”
“Just knowing that there's back up (from them) is really a good feeling.”
#ICYMI: Check out Theresa's canvas on Facebook (only on mobile)
Champion the Grit
Back to where she first started her history-making APG swims, Theresa is ready to continue her legacy of medalling every time she competes at the Games – will you be there to catch the action?
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