Swimming: Olympic champ Joseph Schooling, Paralympic champ Yip Pin Xiu have orchids named after them

Swimmers Joseph Schooling and Yip Pin Xiu pose for a photo with Dr Nigel Taylor, group director of Singapore Botanic Gardens, and the orchids named after them.
Swimmers Joseph Schooling and Yip Pin Xiu pose for a photo with Dr Nigel Taylor, group director of Singapore Botanic Gardens, and the orchids named after them. PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Swimmers Joseph Schooling and Yip Pin Xiu became the first local athletes to have orchids named after them on Monday (Aug 7) at a ceremony in the Singapore Botanic Gardens' Botany Centre.

The Dendrobium Yip Pin Xiu's flowers have white petals with a hint of magenta, complemented by a bright purple lip.

The Dendrobium Joseph Schooling's flowers have yellow petals, accompanied by prominent green lips.

Said Paralympic champion Yip, who intends to care for the plant herself: "I'm very honoured, because the orchid is Singapore's national flower and to have something so beautiful named after me is a true honour."

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Olympic champion Schooling echoed Yip's sentiments, calling the orchid naming "pretty cool".

"I'm excited and looking forward to seeing it grow," he said.

The pair are the second and third Singaporeans to receive the honour under the celebrities naming programme, after singer Stefanie Sun in 2006.

Orchid naming is an honour typically extended to visiting heads of state.

Foreign athletes who have also had orchids named after them include Swedish golf great Annika Sorenstam and American tennis star Serena Williams.