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TODAY correspondent wins at Sports Awards

Jason Chee’s recovery from an accident that saw him lose three limbs was basis of Low Lin Fhoong’s story.

SINGAPORE: Navy Serviceman Jason Chee’s tragic accident in December 2012 cost him three of his limbs and touched a nation.

Nine months on, Mr Chee, 30, had recovered enough to plan the next stage of his life, one which included representing the nation at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

That was when TODAY correspondent Low Lin Fhoong stepped in last September, sensing a story when she heard Mr Chee and Ms Aishah Samad, a former national shooter who had her four limbs amputated as a result of a bacterial infection, were both to share the stage with renowned motivational speaker Nick Vujicic at his seminar organised by MediaCorp radio station 938LIVE.

Last Saturday (June 7), Ms Low’s exclusive report on Mr Chee’s recovery and current Olympic pursuit, Navy Man’s 1.67m Dream, picked up the Most Inspiring Sports Story of the Year gong at the annual Singapore Sports Awards at the Orchard Hotel.

Event organiser Sport Singapore said the authors of the five shortlisted entries were not revealed to the eight-member judging panel.

Ms Low’s win was a first for TODAY since the award was introduced in 2012. Ms Low, 35, said she was struck by Mr Chee’s determination. “What struck me the most was the training he needed to go through before he got fitted with prosthetic legs involving stubbies progressively lengthened by 5cm as he got used to the height and balance,” said Ms Low.

“He kept telling me he wanted to be as tall as he used to be, which meant a slow climb after the accident. He was very stoic about what he’d gone through; there were no tears, just a dogged determination to rise above the circumstances 5cm at a time.”

From 1.35m when the story was written last year, Mr Chee has progressed to 1.54m in rehab and was present at the Sports Awards to witness Ms Low’s win.

Mr Chee said: “Rio Paralympics in 2016 is my big dream ... Ms Low’s story documented my journey thus far. The story and support from my many friends and family will spur me on to do my best in Paralympics!”

TODAY deputy chief editor Carl Skadian said the award is testament to TODAY’s commitment to provide stories that matter. “Jason’s determination to overcome the hand fate had dealt him was inspirational,” said Mr Skadian.

“One of the aims of TODAY’s sports coverage is to celebrate achievement and inspire readers, and this was as good an example as any.”

Thanking her colleagues and bosses, Ms Low, who joined TODAY in 2007, said the award was a result of former TODAY sports editor Gerard Wong’s insistence on submitting this story ahead of another.

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