Yip Pin Xiu first made headlines by winning the gold medal at the women’s 50m backstroke in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. Now, at the Rio Paralympics, she is making headlines everywhere, making it to ‘breaking news’ for dailies, radio, television and more.
New World Record
Pin Xiu clinches not one but two gold medals at the Paralympics, clocking 2 min 7.09 seconds for the 100m backstroke (S2 class) event and 1 min 00.33 seconds for the 50m backstroke (S2 class) event. Needless to say, new world records have been set.
While she is Singapore’s first and only Paralympics gold medallist, now, with three golds (one from the Beijing Paralympics 2008) and four medals, she is in the league of one of Asia’s most accomplished Paralympic swimmers.
At the 8th ASEAN Para Games held in Singapore in 2015, Pin Xiu achieved an outstanding sporting feat by shattering the women’s 50m backstroke (S2 Class) world Paralympic record with a time of 1min 01.61 seconds and winning the gold medal in this event. Her swim erased the previous world record time of 1 min 03.00 seconds set by China’s Feng Ya Zhu at the 2012 Paralympics held in London.
Pin Xiu’s sporting feat earned her The Straits Times Athlete of the Year for 2015, a prestigious award that recognises Singapore athletes who achieved exceptional success and, more importantly, who go on to become inspirational role models in the manner that they achieve success.
More amazingly, Pin Xiu has achieved sporting success despite her deteriorating physical condition. She has been afflicted with muscular dystrophy, a syndrome that slowly breaks down her muscles as she grows older. It was for this reason, along with her sheer determination and tenacity to do well despite her physical condition and the inspiring nature of her accomplishment, that distinguished her from other able-bodied athletes who were also nominated for the award. In fact, Pin Xiu had won seven out of 13 votes from a 13-member award judging panel and is only the second para-athlete to win the award since its inception in 2009.
Pin Xiu was also accorded The Straits Times Star of the Month (for December 2015), an award which recognises well-deserving athletes – on a monthly basis – for their sporting achievements and was a nominee of The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year for 2015, an award which recognises Singaporeans whose extraordinary acts of goodwill, ingenuity or perseverance improved their community and the lives of others during the year. Both of these achievements were a result of her achievement at the 8th ASEAN Para Games.
Importantly, Pin Xiu believes in overcoming her physical challenges and achieving success by adopting a Champion Mindset, which is a personal attribute that is about being the best one can be, discovering one’s strengths, recognising one’s weaknesses and turning them into strengths. She enthuses,
I identify strongly with the MindChamps philosophy of nurturing the Champion Mindset in every individual. It is the Champion Mindset that has helped me overcome my physical challenges to achieve my dream of an Olympic Gold Medal [at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics].
Congratulations Pin Xiu, you are certainly our Champion. Once again, you have re-written the history books.