1) What has been your proudest moment in your sporting career?
I must say it is qualifying for the Olympics.
2) What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I faced is keeping my passion for fencing “burning bright” while being away from the comfort of my home and family. You need to find the inner strength and drive each and every day to keep motivating and believing in yourself. This is hard when you can’t draw strength from those you love in person.
3) As an athlete, there must be many tough times at training. Were there any instances where you wanted to give up? If so, how did you manage to push on and encourage yourself?
I have always liked a challenge or two. Giving up what I love has never crossed my mind. It is true that at times, training sessions can be tough especially when you are trying to balance that with a heavy academic load. However, the passion and love I have for my sport has kept me going and knowing that my family is very supportive even when they are miles away has kept me going. Through faith, love and believing in myself, these have encouraged me to strive to push on.
4) Is there a huge difference between the culture and sporting experience at Notre Dame as compared to Singapore?
There are a number of sports in Notre Dame. Basically, it is a sports-loving community and they also excel in a number of sports. There is ample support to help you manage both sports and the academic demands. This helps to allow us to enjoy what we do. People are generally interested in your activities, your training schedule and reach out when you need help.
5) Were there any challenges adjusting to a different country?
It was not easy packing my bag and moving to the US when I was 16 years old. I have had to leave my family behind and stay with a host family, but I was lucky that I had a great Asian American family as they were very caring and supportive. This made the transition a little easier but I also had to get used to harsh weather. The cold and chill factor was something I had to get accustomed to. I guess when I have had a number of curve balls thrown at me in life, I have had learnt to be nimble, adaptable, sociable and “blend in”.
6) What is something you would say to someone who wants to achieve their dreams?
Keep holding on to your dreams tight and take ownership of that dream. Be passionate about what you do and reach out for help when necessary. There is no substitution for hard work and there are no shortcuts. You just have to be fastidious about what you want to achieve and look for solutions that will help you transform possibilities into realities.
7) Has there been anyone instrumental in your journey?
My parents. They gave me the courage to dream big, to have faith in my abilities and stand by me both in good and bad times. It was easier on my mum when my dad was around but now, she has had to keep giving me the courage and strength to keep moving forward.
8) What does thriving mean to you?
To me, thriving means flourishing and growing as a person in all sorts of circumstances.