Para-swimmer an inspiration to all

Para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu was recently named The Straits Times Athlete of the Year ("Champion's spirit in a faltering body"; last Saturday).

She is the epitome of an inspiring young person, who embodies the traits and values every successful athlete needs.

She refuses to allow challenges due to her physical condition to consume her, but instead, continues to train every day, leading her to clinch medals and shatter world records.

Her condition has spurred her to optimise the opportunities presented to her.

Stories like Ms Yip's give many of us, who are privileged to be born with fully abled bodies, the chance to reflect on our own perceptions of reality.

They show us that sometimes, in order to realise our potential, we need to accept and embrace our own differences.

All of us can make a difference, but this is up to us - our will to inspire, our perseverance and our individuality.

Ashley Tan Yu Yi, 16, Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2016, with the headline 'Para-swimmer an inspiration to all'. Print Edition | Subscribe