A victory lap like no other for Paralympian Theresa Goh after her setbacks

Swimmer Theresa Goh welcomed by family, friends and supporters at Changi Airport on Sept 21, 2016.
Swimmer Theresa Goh welcomed by family, friends and supporters at Changi Airport on Sept 21, 2016. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Four years ago, Theresa Goh was among a convoy of eight Aston Martins that paraded down Orchard Road. But she had tasted bitter defeat after leaving yet another Paralympic Games empty-handed.

Today, she will parade in a Ferrari having won the elusive medal at last.

The 29-year-old earned a bronze medal in her fourth Games showing but told The Straits Times that it will not be the main cause for celebration.

She said: "I'm looking forward to the parade. The medal does make it feel slightly more meaningful but I think what were really celebrating is the record number of Paralympians this year and what that says about the progress of para-sports in Singapore.

"(There were) so many new faces, all of whom did so well. It's like a final celebration before we all go back to wherever we are."

One of these new faces is intellectually disabled long jumper Suhairi Suhani, 19, who leapt to a personal best in Rio, is thrilled to ride the sports cars later today.

GREAT SHOW

(There were) so many new faces, all of whom did so well. It's like a final celebration before we all go back to wherever we are.

THERESA GOH, Rio Paralympics bronze medallist, on the excellent overall performance by Team Singapore.

He said: "It's my first time sitting in a car like that and going around waving to people. It's a nice reward for our achievements and all our hard work training day after day."

The parade will celebrate Singapore's largest-ever contingent - 13 athletes across six sports - with Yip Pin Xiu winning two gold medals and Goh bagging a bronze.

It will run from Sengkang Sports Centre in Anchorvale Road starting at 9am to Vivo City in HarbourFront.

Eleven para-athletes and Rio Paralympics chef de mission Ho Cheng Kwee, will be waving to the public from the Ferraris, while boccia players Nurulasyiqah Taha and Toh Sze Ning will be driven in a more spacious London cab as their mobility is more restricted.

 

The convoy will pass Sengkang Community Club, Hougang Sports Centre, Braddell Heights Community Club, Blocks 43 and 44 at Bendemeer Road and Bugis Junction before arriving at their second pit stop at the National Library at 11.15am.

The Paralympians will be greeted by Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim and Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua at the pit stop.

The Provost of the Singapore Management University will give an appreciation speech, while Pathlight School students will present tokens of appreciation to the athletes.

The convoy will then pass the Pinnacle@Duxton before arriving at the final stop in Vivo City at 1.30pm, where they will be received by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'A victory lap like no other for Goh after her setbacks'. Print Edition | Subscribe