Timeout with Dong Thi Hai Yen

PHOTO: The Straits Times

2015 ASEAN Para Games: Day 5

Close to 1,200 athletes from 10 South-east Asian nations are competing at the 8th ASEAN Para Games in Singapore. Get to know the foreign athletes better as The Straits Times picks out one every day.

Today: Dong Thi Hai Yen, track & field (Vietnam)

Age: 15

Disability: Visually impaired

Q. Do you have a lucky charm you brought with you to Singapore? What is it?

A. I did not bring anything physical with me, but I believe that the gods have blessed me for the Games.

Q. Who's your favourite athlete?

A. As I'm visually impaired, I cannot see the athletes and don't have any favourite.

Q. What is your favourite sport, other than track and field?

A. I love football because there's always a great atmosphere and I like the team spirit of the game.

Q. First impression of Singapore?

A. Very clean and safe country. The volunteers are so kind to all of us and guide us when we need to go somewhere. They give us plenty of assistance.

Q. What is the most challenging thing about your sport?

A. As I can't see, I worry that I may fall down while running. I can't shake off that feeling when I'm running most of the time.

Q. Favourite food back home?

A. Pho (noodle dish). It is our national dish and I've loved it since I was young. We only have instant noodles here so I really miss it.

Q. What would you like as a Christmas present?

A. I would like to come back to Singapore during Christmas. Not to compete this time, but just for travel.

Q. Who is your personal hero?

A. My parents are my heroes. I'm thankful that they did not give up on me although I'm visually impaired, but showered me with love when they raised me.

Q. Why did you pick up running?

A. An athletics head coach came to the special school where I study and introduced us to running.

Q. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A. A businesswoman. I want to have the same career as my father.


This article was first published on Dec 7, 2015.
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