SINGAPORE: Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu on Friday (Feb 11) received the inaugural President's Award for Inspiring Achievement for her outstanding accomplishments and contribution to society.
The award was presented to the 30-year-old by President Halimah Yacob at the Istana. It was first announced in Parliament in October 2021 by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mdm Halimah said the award honours and celebrates Singaporeans who have demonstrated courage and persistence to overcome personal adversity, excelled in their respective fields on the global stage, and whose contributions have made a significant impact on society.
"With Pin Xiu’s stellar achievements, extensive contributions to society and tenacity to overcome all odds, it is only fitting that she is the first recipient of the President’s Award for Inspiring Achievement," Mdm Halimah said.
'USE HER INFLUENCE AS A FORCE FOR GOOD'
Ms Yip, who was born with muscular dystrophy, became the first Singaporean to win two gold medals at the 2016 Paralympics, setting two world records in the process.
She was also Singapore’s first Paralympic gold medallist at the 2008 Games in Beijing, where she won the women’s 50m backstroke S3 event.
During the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, Ms Yip won two golds, including defending her title in the women's 50m backstroke S2 which she won in Rio in 2016. The swimmer is the current world record holder in this event.
"Beyond her sporting achievements, Pin Xiu has used her public prominence and platform to make valuable contributions to society," said Mdm Halimah.
During her tenure as a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) from 2018 to 2020, Ms Yip championed “greater inclusivity in sports and raise awareness around the issue of sexual violence and harassment”, added Mdm Halimah.
“Her passionate calls for action have not only sparked much needed conversation about these matters but also challenged society to play their part towards a common good.”
On receiving the award, Ms Yip said: "I'm very honoured to be receiving this inaugural award and thankful for the recognition and support from President Halimah Yacob and Minister Edwin Tong.
"I hope this award shows that it is not just about making big achievements in life, but it is also about being consistent in doing the smaller, easier tasks to get to where you want to be eventually."
As an active contributor and member of the National Youth Council and Sport Singapore’s Safe Sport Task Force, Ms Yip was recently appointed to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Athlete Committee alongside international athletes to serve as an ambassador for anti-doping and clean sports. She is also the vice-chairperson of the Purple Parade working committee - a movement that celebrates persons with disabilities.
“Pin Xiu’s involvement in these causes is a testament to her heart for service and her conviction to use her influence as a force for good,” said Mdm Halimah.
The trophy given to Ms Yip was designed and hand-crafted by local sculptor Victor Tan.
The President also invited Singaporeans to nominate outstanding individuals who have inspired them and have made a significant impact through their work.