From The Straits Times    |

Yip Pin Xiu, Singapore's youngest NMP and former Her World Young Woman Achiever of the Year 2008

Former Her World Young Woman Achiever of the Year winner Yip Pin Xiu is going from the swimming pool to Parliament, as she makes history as Singapore’s youngest Nominated Member of Parliament at age 26. Actress, author and local personality Eunice Olsen previously held this record when she was nominated at age 27 in 2004. 

Yip suffers from muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder which slowly breaks down the muscles and also affects her eyesight. The Team Singapore swimmer and seven-time record holder has been winning medals for Singapore since 2005, and has won gold in both the Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in the 50m backstroke S2, as well as a gold in Rio for the 100m backstroke S2.

She was our Young Woman Achiever of the Year in 2008, when she won her first Paralympic gold in Beijing. It wasn’t just a first for her, but also for Singapore. 

As to why she and under 30 nominee Abbas Ali Mohamed Irshad were nominated to be NMPs, Leader of the House and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said, “They will enrich debate by bringing the voices of the youth to the House,” in an interview in The Straits Times.

Yip was quoted in the same interview as saying: “I hope to use my experience in the sporting arena as an athlete to make our sporting culture a more vibrant one. I also hope to bring a fresh voice for youth and speak up for equality.” 

In light of her recent nomination, here’s some things you might want to know about this new NMP.


1. Yip started to compete competitively at age 12


2. She had already collected a whopping 38 gold medals from various competitions by 2008, the year she won gold at the Beijing Paralympics

Yip at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, where she won gold

Photo: The Straits Times


3. Instead of deferring her O’Levels, she chose to study and compete for the Beijing Paralympics – and succeeded at both


The challenge that many Singaporean athletes face is that of balancing school and sports. In 2008, when i was training for my first paralympics, i was given the option to delay my studies for a year to train full time so as to fully concentrate on my O levels the next year to get better grades. However i felt that i was able to do both at the same time. My parents were fully supportive of my choice. They looked beyond my grades and supported my endeavors and dedication to training. My mother has always supported my decisions and I am so thankful for that. Without them, i would not have overcome the challenge. This Mother’s Day, @proctergamble and @fairpricesg celebrate the athletes from Special Olympics and all the moms who help us achieve our dreams through their unconditional love. Head over to @fairpricesg’s new online store to enjoy exciting offers on your favourite P&G products and partial proceeds will go towards Special Olympics #LoveOverBias #ThankYouMom

A post shared by Yip Pin Xiu (@yippinxiu) on


4. She’s BFFs with fellow medalist and Paralympian swimmer Theresa Goh


Telepathy game when it comes to our swimming costumes has been strong recently. #speedo #speedosg #oneteamsg

A post shared by Yip Pin Xiu (@yippinxiu) on



5. She broke the world record for both the 50m S2 and 100m S2 backstroke at the Rio Paralympics 2016… Both of which were previously held by herself  


6. She met Prince Charles and Camilla when she took part in the Queen’s Baton Relay in 2017


7. She’s often called to speak at forums, both locally and abroad, where she talks about the Paralympian movement  


8. In 2016 SMU created the Yip Pin Xiu scholarship in her name, their first-ever full sports scholarship. Yip is an alumnus of SMU, having graduated with a degree in social science 


9.  A highly driven and positive person, Yip has always been vocal about her dreams of giving back to the para-sports community and young athletes, such as through sharing sessions that will help them become better athletes and to show them a career in sports is just the beginning

We can’t wait to see what she achieves once she’s sworn in as NMP on September 26.