Making a Splash - Swimmer, a Person with Disability, Advocate – these are identities Yip Pin Xiu feels most comfortable with. These are also the very things that enable her to be a solid voice for those who might not be heard. She advocates for issues close to her heart – on behalf of People with Disabilities, sports, women, and minority groups.
Pin Xiu’s journey to find her voice started when she was a little girl. When she was three years old, her aunt realised she was walking with a foot drop, and her mother brought her to the hospital to get it checked. It was not until years later, after seeing multiple doctors that she was finally diagnosed with a condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a disorder that causes nerve damage and weakening of muscles.
An issue that Pin Xiu brings to the forefront is the importance of representation for People with Disabilities. When she was growing up, she felt different because she did not see ayone else with a disability on the streets of Singapore, much less anyone in her circle of family and friends.
“It was only when I started swimming and joined the national team did I realise that there are many people with disabilities in Singapore that are living their lives to the fullest, and can do the same things as everyone else,” she recalls.
This realisation, combined with her sheer talent and hard work, resulted in Pin Xiu making history by winning Singapore's first Paralympic gold medal. She started swimming at a young age and loved the freedom the water gave her. It’s no surprise then, that she continues to swim almost every day. She spends most of her day training, getting up before 6am to have breakfast and go to the pool. For Pin Xiu, joining sports was a completely life-changing moment for her – it transformed her into a more confident, outspoken, and outgoing person.
It is with this that she hopes others can find something that encourages them to realise their abilities too. As Vice-Chairperson of The Purple Parade Working Committee, her wish is to continue to inspire others and empower them find their own potential, an impact in the world she never thought she could make when she was a young girl.
Pin Xiu continues to make a splash in more ways than one, not just in the swimming pool, but in the lives of many others too.
For more information about The Purple Parade or how you can support the movement, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.