Future of para sport is bright

Future of para sport is bright
Singapore para swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh (bottom right) with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the closing ceremony of the 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG).
PHOTO: Theresa Goh

The end of every major Games is always a bit sad as we say goodbye to new friends and leave the bubble we've kept ourselves in for the past week.

These ASEAN Para Games on home soil are no different. In fact, it's probably even more bittersweet.

On the one hand, I'm completely exhausted from competing but the Games have also been amazing. There's not been a sour note at all.

Before the Games started, I really wasn't sure what kind of support the athletes would get but the spectators have been fantastic.

Every session the crowd just kept getting better and better. The roar from Singaporeans when they announce my name, it gave me goose bumps.

I don't think I'll ever forget this.

The sportsmanship shown by the crowd as they cheered and were appreciative of every athlete including the foreign ones was also very special. I'm just so proud of my fellow Singaporeans.

It's impossible to pick out my favourite moments. There's just been so many. I've been on a high for the entire week.

The future of para-sports in Singapore looks very positive. This was the most amount of coverage disability sports has ever gotten and to have people hear about us, get behind us, I think that can only mean better things for all of us.

I hope that 10 years down the road, I'll be able to say that this was a historical moment, not just for able-bodied or para-sports, but for all sports in Singapore. I have goosebumps thinking about it.

Everyone at the closing ceremony last night was in a celebratory mood. For me, there was as much joy as there was pride, knowing that these Games were run very well and that we did well as a team.

I'm going to wake up today sad that it's all over but also looking forward to next season and getting ready for another big year of swimming for me with the Paralympics in Rio.

But I'll also want to make sure I keep the past week in my memory bank. What a journey it's been.

And I don't even have enough words to say thank you to everyone who contributed to these Games and for making it a great success.

I'm just super proud of the organising committee, the officials and the friendly and helpful volunteers.

It's been nothing but a super APG. Thank you everyone.


This article was first published on December 10, 2015.
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