Yip Pin Xiu is an inspiring Singaporean backstroke swimmer and three-time Paralympic gold medallist, one-time IPC (International paralympic committee) gold medallist and has set 2 world records in the 50m and 100m backstroke.
Yip Pin Xiu was born with muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that gradually breaks down the muscles. She started swimming to keep her fitness and to strengthen her muscles but inevitably lost her ability to walk when she was 11 and had to be in a wheelchair. Pin Xiu started swimming competitively at 12 years old and started participating in national competitions.
Pin Xiu set a world record time of 1 minute 00.80 seconds in the 50 metres backstroke at the US Paralympic swimming trials. The 22nd International German Paralympic Swimming Championships saw her set a world record of 2 minutes 10.09 seconds in the 100 metres backstroke heats, and in the finals she was awarded the gold medal with a time of 2 minutes 08.09 seconds, exceeding her own world record.
Pin Xiu graduated from Republic Polytechnic as valedictorian and currently an undergraduate in Social Science at Singapore Management University (SMU). She has since started the Yip Pin Xiu Scholarship to inspire future generations of athletes in Singapore to represent in international competitions.
Yip Pin Xiu was Singapore’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN Para Games in Singapore. She was also one of three athletes to light the cauldron to the mark the beginning of the Games. At the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Pin Xiu was again Singapore’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
Pin Xiu was previously named Sportsgirl of the Year in three consecutive years from 2005 to 2007 by the Singapore Disability Sports Council and awarded the Public Service Medal in Singapore following her performances at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. She also received the Singapore Youth Award in 2010 and was inducted into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014 (mindchamps.org, 12 Aug 2014). In May 2015, she became the first para-athlete to be inducted into Singapore’s Sports Hall of Fame. (todayonline.com, 13 May 2015)
Since the interview, Pin Xiu has won 2 gold medals for the 50m and 100m backstroke S2 events at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. We salute and wish her the very best.