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

Eileen Chai shares story after revelations on figure skater's ordeal and issue of abuse in sports

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. Subscribe