Sport: Not only gold that glitters but grit too

Danny Yeo, who won two freestyle relay bronzes at the recent Indonesia Asian Games, wrote notes to his more than 20 teammates, thanking them and telling everyone how they made an impact on him.
Danny Yeo, who won two freestyle relay bronzes at the recent Indonesia Asian Games, wrote notes to his more than 20 teammates, thanking them and telling everyone how they made an impact on him.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

Sport is sustained by the devotion of unsung swimmers like Danny Yeo who just retired

We live in lands of stars and nations of legends and cities of giants but that isn't Danny Yeo. He isn't larger than life, he's just 1.81m. He wasn't mobbed by autograph hunters, didn't overpower the record books, never earned millions of dollars. And yet he matters.

He matters because even on his worst days he loved the pool for the purpose it gave him. Because he'll say, "never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be in the national team" and yet at 19 he got there finally, won 13 SEA Games medals, three from the Asian Games, 16 in total, 12 of them in relays and none which he displays. "It's the past. And you always have to move forward."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2018, with the headline 'Not only gold that glitters but grit too'. Print Edition | Subscribe