Victory parade for Singapore Paralympians on Saturday

The bulk of Singapore's Paralympians returned home to a welcome ceremony at Changi Airport.
The bulk of Singapore's Paralympians returned home to a welcome ceremony at Changi Airport. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Double Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu will return home to a welcome ceremony at Changi Airport early this morning, but there was reason to cheer even before the swimmer landed.

The 24-year-old was awarded one million KrisFlyer miles by Singapore Airlines (SIA) - the same reward that Olympic champion Joseph Schooling received from the national carrier after his triumph in Rio de Janeiro last month.

SIA posted photos on Facebook of Yip receiving the award before she, fellow swimmer Theresa Goh, and seven other Singapore Paralympians flew from Sao Paulo to Singapore.

SIA staff also presented the nine para-athletes with a banner, flowers, champagne and a cake.

The celebrations for the Republic's Paralympians - 13 in all - will continue in Singapore this weekend with a victory parade to mark their achievements.

On Saturday, they will be driven in a convoy of cars from ActiveSG Sengkang Sports Centre, making a pit stop at the National Library Building in Victoria Street, before finishing at VivoCity. Schooling had also been feted with an open-top bus parade from Marine Parade to Raffles City last month.

The Rio Paralympics will be remembered as one of Singapore's most successful outings.

Yip's triumph in the 50m and 100m backstroke S2 races made her the first Singaporean to win two golds in a single Paralympics, and she also set world records in both events in Rio.

Goh, 29, won her first medal after four Paralympics, taking home the bronze in the 100m breaststroke SB4 final.

Singapore's two boccia para-athletes, Nurulasyiqah Taha and Toh Sze Ning, returned yesterday afternoon. The duo finishing fourth in their mixed pairs event.

Toh, a Paralympics debutante, is looking forward to the celebratory parade on Saturday. She said: "It's going to be exciting and I can't wait to meet all our supporters."

• Additional reporting by Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'Victory parade for S'pore Paralympians on Saturday'. Print Edition | Subscribe