My Games

Theresa Goh's daily Asean Para Games blog/selfie: Flame rekindled, now on to Rio

Theresa Goh (right) with Thai swimmer Pornpimon Sutthichittanon.
Theresa Goh (right) with Thai swimmer Pornpimon Sutthichittanon. PHOTO COURTESY OF THERESA GOH

After seven events over five days of competition, my Asean Para Games have drawn to a close.

In exchange for five very gratifying gold medals, I'm sore all over, exhausted and all I want to do is lie down and sleep all night, all day the next day.

At 28, not many swimmers are still going at it as intensely as I am now.

Sometimes, even I think I'm a bit crazy. But I just cannot not do this, when I feel like I still have so much to give. I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive myself if I called it a day before it was truly time.

It's not that I've always gone full speed ahead.

Sometimes, even I think I'm a bit crazy. But I just cannot not do this, when I feel like I still have so much to give. I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive myself if I called it a day before it was truly time.

In fact, after the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, I contemplated retirement options. I even tried out other sports like powerlifting.

And despite competing at the 2012 London Paralympics, I was not in the kind of form I was in at the Beijing Games, where I held two world records in the 50m and 200m breaststroke.

But some time in the beginning of last year, something clicked inside of me.

It rekindled what might have been a dimming fire inside of me, and made me realise there is still a lot that I can give in the pool.

It wasn't so much the news that Singapore would host the APG that "reset" my system, although it did make me all the more driven so that I would be able to do well at home. It was timing - great timing.

Now, with less than nine months to go before the Rio Paralympics next year, I feel like I'm almost back to my peak form.

It's hard to say how far I will go in Rio, or how much further I will go after that.

Regardless of what happens, be it a successful meet like the APG with five golds or the possibility of nothing to show for at the Rio Games, I'm in this knowing that I'm giving my all every day - until the day when I know it's finally time.


•Theresa Goh, swimming in her eighth straight Games, is Singapore's most bemedalled athlete at the biennial event. She will be sharing her experiences and a selfie daily in The Straits Times.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'Flame rekindled, now on to Rio'. Print Edition | Subscribe