Singapore #FitFind of the Week: Danny Yeo

The women have their limelight in Monday's #Fitspo. Now it's the men's turn. The Yahoo #FitFind series is a new weekly feature every Wednesday dedicated to all fit men out there. Know of any who deserve to be featured? Hit me up on and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (cheryltaysg).

Swimmer Danny Yeo. Photo: Cheryl Tay
Swimmer Danny Yeo. Photo: Cheryl Tay

Name: Danny Yeo (Instagram: @swaggywhale)
Age: 25
Height: 182cm
Weight: 69kg
Occupation: Student athlete
Status: Single
Diet: Eats anything he wants but refrain from unhealthy foods
Training: 10 sessions a week with the national team
Did you go right into swimming or did you try other sports first?
I tried out for the basketball team in my primary school and I didn’t make it. I played table tennis instead. Then my elder sister, Vanessa Yeo, was swimming competitively so I used to follow her to the pool for fun since the age of six. Swimming was just exercise to me at that time.
How did that lead to competitive swimming?
It was only at 17 that I got more serious about training and I competed at the inter-school level for ‘C’ Division and ‘B’ Division for Anglo-Chinese School (Independent). One day I was invited to join a training squad at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex, so I went for three times a week and over time I progressed to joining them nine times a week. Finally I joined the national team at 18 and have swum in four editions of the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games.
What were the highest and lowest points in your career?
The lowest point for me was in SEA Games 2009 when when I missed out a spot for the 4x200m freestyle relay team, which won the gold medal after. Ironically, my highest point was two days later at the same meet when I made the 4x100m freestyle relay team and secured gold.
Ever had days where you don’t feel like training?
There are days like that but I just focus on the goals I have for the future and that makes me want to work harder.

Swimmer Danny Yeo. Photo: Cheryl Tay
Swimmer Danny Yeo. Photo: Cheryl Tay

Were there any points in your swimming career that you felt like giving up?
Sometimes when the effort put in does not equal the the results shown, it is indeed disappointing, but it doesn’t make me feel like giving up. It actually spurs me on to find mistakes and areas I can improve on.
How do you balance school and training?
Both school and swimming are important to me, and to juggle both, I have given up much of my social life. End of the day though, everything is going to be worth it.
How do you hope to use swimming as a form of inspiration to others?
I started swimming late compared to others, so I hope this gives others hope that even if you were not a good swimmer as a kid, you can still get to where you want to be if you put your mind to it.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
Aesthetically, I’m okay with my body. I don’t have any body type goals. My body is just a product of my training. To feel good about yourself is most important.
What are some of the things fans have done for you?
I have fans who keep offering to buy me things. One of them asked if I would wear shoes if they bought them for me. Another time, this girl wrote me a card and said she has been following my swimming career since 2011.
Any funny comments you receive on social media?
People asked if they could follow me because their parents told them to follow their dreams. Another time, an anonymous account on Instagram left 15 pickup lines at one go. One of it sounded like this: “Are you a vegetable? ‘Cause you are cute-cumber.”

Did you ever feel not confident about your body?
During this year’s SEA Games, I was hit by tonsillitis and looking back at some of the pictures now, I'm actually pretty shocked at how pale and skinny I became. I think I lost about 5kg in total.
What are some misconceptions of fitness that society has today?
That people need to have six packs and big bulging muscles. But to me, as I said, feeling good about yourself is the most important.