Team Singapore’s Paralympians embark on celebratory parade after Rio success

Team Singapore’s para-athletes embarked on a celebratory parade from Sengkang to VivoCity, with a pit stop at the National Library along the way.
Paralympians posing for a photo with fans at the National Library.
Paralympians posing for a photo with fans at the National Library.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
A fan takes a photo of three-time Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu.
A fan takes a photo of three-time Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Ferraris leaving the National Library.
Ferraris leaving the National Library.ST PHOTO: NICOLE CHIA
Ms Indranee Rajah and supporters waiting for the arrival of the Paralympians at Cantonment Road.
Ms Indranee Rajah and supporters waiting for the arrival of the Paralympians at Cantonment Road.ST PHOTO: ALVIN CHIA
Crowds have started to wait inside the tentage at VivoCity, for the arrival of the Paralympians.
Crowds have started to wait inside the tentage at VivoCity, for the arrival of the Paralympians.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Paralympians taking a photo with supporters at VivoCity.
Paralympians taking a photo with supporters at VivoCity.ST PHOTO: ALVIN CHIA
Paralympian Laurentia Tan waving to the camera at National Library.
Paralympian Laurentia Tan waving to the camera at National Library.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Ex-Olympian C Kunalan cheering at the National Library.
Ex-Olympian C Kunalan cheering at the National Library.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Supporters from all walks of life came to the National Library to honour the Paralympians.
Supporters from all walks of life came to the National Library to honour the Paralympians.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Senior citizens from Kampong Glam CC getting ready to welcome the Paralympians at National Library.
Senior citizens from Kampong Glam CC getting ready to welcome the Paralympians at National Library.ST PHOTO: NICOLE CHIA
Paralympian Theresa Goh posing for a photo in the Ferrari.
Paralympian Theresa Goh posing for a photo in the Ferrari.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu posing for a photo in the Ferrari.
Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu posing for a photo in the Ferrari. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Para-athlete Suhairi bin Suhani posing for a photograph with a Ferrari.
Para-athlete Suhairi bin Suhani posing for a photograph with a Ferrari.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The crowd welcoming the Paralympians at the National Library.
The crowd welcoming the Paralympians at the National Library.ST PHOTO: CHUA SIANG YEE
The gleaming Ferrari cars and London cabs making their way to the National Library.
The gleaming Ferrari cars and London cabs making their way to the National Library.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The crowd waving to the Paralympians during the parade.
The crowd waving to the Paralympians during the parade.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu's mother (seated, centre) waiting with the crowd outside Braddell Heights CC.
Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu's mother (seated, centre) waiting with the crowd outside Braddell Heights CC.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu waving to the crowd outside Braddell Heights CC.
Paralympian Yip Pin Xiu waving to the crowd outside Braddell Heights CC.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The crowd outside Bradell Heights CC.
The crowd outside Bradell Heights CC.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The cars lining up in front of the sports centre for the Paralympians Parade.
The cars lining up in front of the sports centre for the Paralympians Parade.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The crowd at Sengkang Sports Centre posing for a group photo with the Paralympians on stage.
The crowd at Sengkang Sports Centre posing for a group photo with the Paralympians on stage.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The Paralympians speaking on stage at Sengkang Sports Centre.
The Paralympians speaking on stage at Sengkang Sports Centre.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The crowd congratulating the athletes and asking if they have had enough rest.
The crowd congratulating the athletes and asking if they have had enough rest.ST PHOTO: CHUA SIANG YEE
The crowd at Sengkang Sports Centre on Saturday (Sept 24) morning.
The crowd at Sengkang Sports Centre on Saturday (Sept 24) morning.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Fans taking a photo with Paralympian Laurentia Tan (centre) at the Sengkang Sports Centre.
Fans taking a photo with Paralympian Laurentia Tan (centre) at the Sengkang Sports Centre.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Sailor Yap Qian Yin signing bottles to be given out during a quiz later.
Sailor Yap Qian Yin signing bottles to be given out during a quiz later.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Pupils from Fernvale Gardens School taking a photo before the start of the parade.
Pupils from Fernvale Gardens School taking a photo before the start of the parade.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Paralympians posing for a photo with a fan at VivoCity.
Paralympians posing for a photo with a fan at VivoCity.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Paralympians posing for a photo before going onstage at VivoCity.
Paralympians posing for a photo before going onstage at VivoCity.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE – Team Singapore’s para-athletes embarked on a celebratory parade on Saturday (Sept 24) morning, amid a stunning line-up of gleaming Ferrari cars, London cabs and small but wildly supportive cheering crowds.

The 13-strong contingent, including three-time Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu, were waved off by over 100 supporters who had woken early to soak up the festive atmosphere at the Sengkang Sports Centre.

They made their way from Sengkang to VivoCity, with a pit stop at the National Library along the way.

Joanne Choo, at Sengkang with parents Ging Yang and Sally, said: “I read about Pin Xiu in the newspapers. She is an inspiration for me to work harder and to excel. I’m writing a speech about her for a public speaking course and want to see her in person.”

Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min, the guest of honour at Sengkang, hailed the team for “putting up a good show in Brazil”. 

“You’ve been an inspiration to all of us,” he added.

The convoy passed by Sengkang Community Centre, Hougang Sports Centre, Braddell Heights Community Centre, Blocks 43 and 44 at Bendemeer Road and Bugis Junction before arriving at the library.

It received warm cheers along the route, particularly in Serangoon, where Yip lives.

Upon arrival at the library, a crowd of over 100 greeted the athletes. They included volunteers from Peace Connect and senior citizens from Kampong Glam, as well as students from Pathlight School.

There, the Paralympians were given tokens of appreciation by Singapore Management University, where Yip studies.

Among the crowd was former Olympian C. Kunalan, 74. He said: “These athletes have done something really unique that they’ve been doing for years, but without much support and visibility. 

“I’m glad that there is new interest in para games and I hope this interest continues to keep up.”

Jennifer Ng was also there with her sons Choon Siang and Choon Khang. The latter has cerebral palsy and is going for swimming lessons later in the evening. He watched the replays of Yip and fellow swimmer Theresa Goh’s races. When asked what he would say to them when he saw them, Choon Khang, nine, smiled and said: “I’m going to say hi.”


Jennifer Ng with sons Choon Siang and Choon Khang. ST PHOTO: NICOLE CHIA

After leaving the library, the convoy made its way past an enthusiastic cheering crowd at the Pinnacle@Duxton before arriving at VivoCity. 

At the mall, a crowd of over 400 braved the searing afternoon heat to catch the athletes’ question and answer session, which saw among others, Yip revealing that she ate 20 sticks of ice cream before leaving for Brazil.

 

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, the guest of honour there, thanked them for their efforts and said the country was “super super proud” of the team. She also expressed gratitude for the athletes’ support teams like their families, caregivers and coaches as well as organisations such as the Singapore National Paralympic Council and Sport Singapore.

The national anthem was also played, marking the end of the festivities, before the athletes mingled with the crowd, taking photos and chatting.

The parade celebrated the nation’s best-ever performance at the quadrennial Games, where swimmers Yip and Goh won two golds and a bronze respectively, and several others surpassed their personal bests.