Paralympic gold medal swimmer Yip Pin Xiu: Muscular dystrophy is a blessing in disguise

Jeanette Tan

Under our "Inspiring People" column, we highlight the incredible journey of one person who has overcome tremendous odds to achieve personal success. This column celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and we hope it will inspire you to reach for your dreams, too. This month, we bring you a young woman whose disability has spurred her to bring athletic glory to Singapore.

Swimmer Yip Pin Xiu is the country's first-ever Paralympic gold medallist -- she won and set a world record in the 50m backstroke at the 2008 Paralympic Games.

In total, she has won more than 70 medals in competitions both at home and abroad.

"My goal is to reach a hundred," she says to former Nominated Member of Parliament Eunice Olsen, who created a video series called Womentalk, featuring Yip as its first interviewee.

Yip suffers from muscular dystrophy, a genetic condition that over time deteriorates her muscles, but she surprisingly shares that she would not have taken up competitive swimming if she didn't suffer from it.

"I think it's a blessing in disguise for me," she says. "I choose to take it in a positive way, I guess."

Watch Olsen's video interview with her to discover more about her passion for swimming and her inspiring outlook in life here.

Pinxiu's story was brought to you in partnership with Womentalk, a social enterprise that champions and celebrates the social empowerment of Asian women. Find out more on their website here.