Winter Olympics: Olympic torch relay role for Singapore's Lucas Ng

Short track speed skater Lucas Ng, who started skating competitively in 2010 and was Singapore's first Asian Winter Games representative the following year, says the role of torchbearer is an "incredible" opportunity.
Short track speed skater Lucas Ng, who started skating competitively in 2010 and was Singapore's first Asian Winter Games representative the following year, says the role of torchbearer is an "incredible" opportunity.PHOTO COURTESY OF VIC SENT POK

South Korea-based speed skater will perform in the lead-up to Pyeongchang Winter Games

There may be no Singaporean competitor at next February's Winter Olympics but the Republic will still see some representation in the torch relay through national short track speed skater Lucas Ng.

The 29-year-old, who in 2011 was Singapore's first Asian Winter Games representative, will be a torchbearer for the Incheon leg of the relay from Jan 10-12 as part of a tie-up between Samsung and The Straits Times.

He joins other torchbearers from countries including New Zealand, Malaysia and the Philippines, who will also be involved during the Incheon leg. Ng will carry the torch on Jan 12, before it makes its way to Seoul from Jan 13-16.

Ng, based in Goyang, South Korea, said the "seemingly unattainable goal" of competing at the Winter Games is one he has been working towards since he started skating competitively in 2010.

"Being able to bear the torch at the Olympics would be an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a struggling athlete such as myself," he added.

"I want to be able to represent my country and the skating community, showing the younger generation of athletes that as long as you put your mind to it, and believe in all that you stand for, you will succeed."

President of Samsung Electronics Singapore Lee Jui Siang praised Ng for embodying the "best of the Olympic spirit in his achievements and endeavours towards his Olympic dream", despite facing the difficulty of being a winter sports athlete from a tropical country.

He said: "We hope that carrying the torch at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be an enriching experience for him, and that it will encourage him further in his pursuit of his Olympic dream."

The Olympic flame was lit in Greece last week before it reached South Korea on Wednesday for the domestic relay.

Singapore Ice Skating Association president Sonja Chong said it is "fitting" that Ng will be a torchbearer, as he is a pioneer of winter sports in Singapore.

Ng, who moved to South Korea last October to pursue his passion, was one of Singapore's first short track speed skaters.

Chong added: "He represents many of Singapore's firsts in winter sports and is an inspiration to our young winter athletes.

"Being a part of Pyeongchang is a recognition of how far Singapore has come in winter sports and the potential to come. We certainly hope that Singapore will qualify for the Winter Olympics by 2022."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Olympic torch relay role for Ng'. Print Edition | Subscribe