7 Facts About Yip Pin Xiu That You Probably Didn’t Know

Joseph Schooling might be tall, hunky, cute, and definitely a great swimmer.

But much as Schooling deserves the million dollars, lifetime free trips by AirAsia, extensive media coverage, and standing ovation by ministers in Parliament, I believe Yip Pin Xiu should and must be given the same treatment by virtue of her stellar achievements.

Setter and Breaker of World Records

In the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, Yip set a new world record for the women’s 50m freestyle by clocking 57.04 seconds and 57.92 seconds in the women’s 50m backstroke, which took 2 seconds off her own world record. 

At the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, a new world record of 2 minutes 7.09 seconds for the women’s (S2) 100m backstroke. 

This May, at the European Championships, Yip set a new world record for the S2 100m backstroke by clocking in at 1 minute 1.39 seconds. 

Given that she had set and broke her own world records, I am wondering why Schooling has more media coverage and monetary rewards.

Winner of Singapore’s First Paralympic Medal

In 2008, Yip gave Singapore its first Paralympic gold medal when she won the (S3) 50m backstroke and also clinched a silver medal in the (S3) 50m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. 

Similar to Joseph Schooling, Yip gave Singapore its first gold medal at the Paralymic Games, set a new world record, and made history for the nation.

Disability and Condition

Yip was born with muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that slowly breaks down the muscles, and a nerve condition that affects her sight. 

She was initially classified at S5 and dropped to S3 in 2008. Her classification was then lowered to S2, where a lower classification number indicates more severe disabilities. 

According to the International Paralympic Committee, S2 swimmers rely mainly on their arms to swim due to limited functions or coordination problems with their hands, torso or legs.

Immediate Plan

Frankly, I love her immediate plan for the future, which according to Channel NewsAsia, Yip is to go get ice cream after all her races, because she has been watching her diet. 

I wonder what flavor would she have? Though she might continue swimming for a while after graduating from school, she is not so sure about the rest.

Likes and Dislikes

Based on a short interview by two Yuhua Primary School students, we now know that she likes travelling, making friends, and talking, in addition to her love for swimming which is the one thing allows her experience freedom in water

Of course, like many normal people, she dislike heights and unfair accusations.


Not only is Yip Singapore’s first and only Paralympic gold  medalist, she is also a MindChamps brand ambassador, a recipient of the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal BBM in 2008, Junior Chamber International’s 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World award in 2011, inducted into Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014, The Straits Times Athlete of the Year 2015, and The Straits Times Athlete of the Month (December) 2015.

Real Struggles

After the Beijing Paralympics, Yip took a year off to focus on school, which made her grades and times went up. 

She trained 1/3 of her usual 12 times a week regime and early morning training sessions became a routine which she hated, something any other Singaporean face every morning. 

Four years ago, she could grip the backstroke bar but now she has to be anchored by her coach. 

Before, she would still have energy at night after training, but now her deteriorating condition makes her want to sleep. 

In the end, it is her competitive nature that made sure she grasp success tightly in her hands. 

Featured image: www.todayonline.com 

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com