Olympics: Former table tennis player Tan Paey Fern is Singapore's chef de mission for PyeongChang Winter Games

Tan Paey Fern (left) and swimmer Quah Zheng Wen in 2013, during the flag presentation ceremony for the Nanyang Asian Youth Games. Tan said it is a "privilege" to be a part of Team Singapore's first Winter Olympics outing.
Tan Paey Fern (left) and swimmer Quah Zheng Wen in 2013, during the flag presentation ceremony for the Nanyang Asian Youth Games. Tan said it is a "privilege" to be a part of Team Singapore's first Winter Olympics outing.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

SINGAPORE - She will be Singapore's first and only representative at next month's Winter Olympic Games, but short track speed skater Cheyenne Goh will travel to Pyeongchang, South Korea with a support team of her coach Chun Lee Kyung and chef de mission (CDM) Tan Paey Fern.

Former national paddler Tan was unveiled on Wednesday (Jan 10) by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) as Singapore's chef de mission for the Feb 9-25 Games.

It is a role familiar to the former Olympian, who was CDM for the Singapore contingent at the 2013 Asian Youth Games in Nanjing. The 43-year-old also competed at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and has won medals at the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

Now a coach at the Singapore Sports School, Tan expressed her gratitude at receiving the opportunity, saying: "It is always an honour to be able to do something for your country, there's no question that I will do my best to serve in this capacity.

"Though we may have a small representation in Pyeongchang, it is still our desire and goal to ensure that Cheyenne is equipped with the support she needs for a good and safe outing at the Games."

Tan is hopeful that her experience, as well as that of four-time Olympic champion Chun, will help 18-year-old Goh at the Games.

"Coach Chun herself attended three Olympic Games and her experience will certainly add depth to the strength of the contingent. I hope Cheyenne will make the best out of her experience in her Olympic Games debut - enjoy herself, try her best and take this opportunity to compete against the world's best," said Tan.

"Being the only athlete can be lonely and being at the Olympics can also be overwhelming. Having represented Singapore at the Olympics and major Games, I hope my experience coping as an athlete can help her to manage the conditions and focus on the tasks she has on hand."

Goh will compete in the women's 1,500m event on Feb 17 at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

SNOC secretary general Chris Chan noted that Tan's experience as an elite athlete and chef de mission at major Games puts her "in good stead" to manage the Republic's first Winter Olympic Games contingent.

He said: "This is certainly a significant milestone in our major Games participation and we hope that Cheyenne's participation will create a bigger effect of inspiring more Singaporeans to aspire towards the Winter Olympic Games."