Singaporean swimmer Yip Pin Xiu is the first Southeast Asian athlete to take home the gold at the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, upping her total gold medal count to four.
Yip, 29, won gold in the women’s 100-meter backstroke S2 competition with a time of 2:14:46 on Aug. 25, according to Channel News Asia.
- She is the first Singaporean national to win four gold medals at the Paralympics. She won a total of three gold medals in the 2008 and 2016 Games.
- At the 2016 Paralympic Games, Yip set a world record with her 2:07:09 completion time in the 100-meter backstroke S2 event. She also set and holds a second world record with her completion time of 59.38 for the first lap of that race.
- In a Facebook post reacting to her win, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote: “Singapore is proud of you, and you inspire all of us.”
As a baby, Yip was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a disease that causes muscles to degenerate over time. She could no longer walk by the time she was 13, at which point she began using a wheelchair, according to the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame.
- She began swimming when she was 5 and swam competitively starting at the age of 12.
- Yip became the first para-athlete to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
- At the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, she became the first Singaporean to win gold after winning the 50-meter backstroke S3 event.