Yip Pin Xiu
25, Paralympic Gold Medallist
They say getting started is the hard part, but as world record-holding Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu can attest, overcoming self-doubt can be much harder. A three-time Paralympic gold medallist, a one-time International Paralympic Committee gold medallist, named “Athlete of the Year” by The
Straits Times in 2016 and the holder of two world records in the 50m backstroke and 100m backstroke, Pin Xiu has accomplished a lot, to say the least, in her 25 years.
On top of these accomplishments, this fresh grad has also just completed her degree in Political Science at Singapore Mangagement University. It was this commitment to her education that had the swimmer take a break after the Beijing Paralympics, which taught her a lot about endurance and commitment.
“Taking a break from competitive swimming gave me a lot of freedom,” she recalls. “But it made it very hard to train. By the time I got back into it for [the London Paralympics], it was almost too late. There was a period when I doubted myself. I thought I was done after 2012. But what made me continue was that I really enjoy seeing my timings get better each time. I also felt it wasn’t time for me to stop.” She made a return to form in the Rio 2016 Paralympics with a new world record in the 100m backstroke.