Generation Grit: Small but fearless, ill health didn't stop her

Born with a hole in her heart, Chelsea Ann Sim had to avoid strenuous physical activities. But when she turned 11, she took up taekwondo and has since been practising it for 13 years, even representing Singapore in the sport.
Ms Chelsea Ann Sim at a taekwondo training session last Wednesday at the national training centre for the Singapore Taekwondo Federation in Lorong Limau. The SEA Games gold medallist credits her family, coaches and friends in taekwondo for helping he
Ms Chelsea Ann Sim at a taekwondo training session last Wednesday at the national training centre for the Singapore Taekwondo Federation in Lorong Limau. The SEA Games gold medallist credits her family, coaches and friends in taekwondo for helping her overcome challenges and excel in the sport.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Born with a hole in her heart, Ms Chelsea Ann Sim, 23, was not an active child and was exempted from fitness tests in school. Yet, she is now a much-lauded national taekwondo exponent, and she is thankful for the sport which has helped her weather trying periods such as her parents' divorce.

With her small stature, Ms Chelsea Ann Sim does not strike many as a taekwondo exponent at first glance.

The 1.5m-tall athlete also has two heart conditions that leave her breathless at times and put her at risk of heart failure.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2019, with the headline 'Small but fearless'. Print Edition | Subscribe