Toughest Part of Sport

The burden of weight for synchronised swimmer Debbie Soh

In the third of a five-part series, synchronised swimmer Debbie Soh talks to Rohit Brijnath about her struggles with body image.

On her most insecure days, synchronised swimmer Debbie Soh's well-being was determined by what an inanimate object told her. She stood on a weighing scale and waited for it to reveal a number.

Had she lost a little? Gained a gram? What did she do wrong to be 0.8kg heavier? Should she cut her meal portions in half? On a few ounces of weight can rest a human's self-worth.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2020, with the headline 'The burden of weight'. Subscribe