Ex-national gymnast recalls fear of being punished for wrong moves

1991 SEA Games Then national gymnast Eileen Chai performing at the 1991 SEA Games, where she won a bronze medal. She trained in China for three years from the late 1980s to 1991. PHOTO: COURTESY OF EILEEN CHAI Chai, now a violin teacher, performing w
Chai, now a violin teacher, performing with her student at an event at the National Museum in 2018. The former gymnast sometimes cannot bring herself to finish reading articles on athletes’ abuse. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NIGEL LAU

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Nearly 30 years after her training stint in China, former national gymnast Eileen Chai still remembers the fear of making a wrong move and being punished.

The memories are so vivid that the 42-year-old broke down in tears while recounting her experience to The Sunday Times recently.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 02, 2020, with the headline 'Ex-national gymnast recalls fear of being punished for wrong moves'. Print Edition | Subscribe