23 great years, and here’s to more!

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A year has flew by so quickly and I honestly can’t believe that I’m already 23… It’s been a wonderful year for me so far and I’m really grateful for everything that happened. I really had a great birthday experience so I’ll share the joy with you guys too! 🙂

I had 3 different celebrations in total – first was with my family, followed by my closest friends, and lastly my mentor; so here are the different celebrations that I went to:

I went for Ramenventure (Ramen adventures) with my family on the actual date of my birthday as I really really love ramen. Who else loves ramen?


I was super hungry that day as it was after my afternoon training but I’m glad that they served free hard boiled eggs there which really helped ease the hunger while I was waiting for my Ramen. I ate a total of 3 hard boiled eggs and 2 eggs which was included in the Ramen (one flavored egg and one half boiled egg) so in total i ate… 5 eggs that night, which kinda scares me now after realizing how many I ate.

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And there you go, a photo of the Ramen! it was super good and I really really enjoyed it. I took extra strong soup base and normal noodle texture, it was super good.


So to end the night, my sister bought me a small slice of cake (as we were all too full from the ramen) and they sang the birthday song for me. Everybody started looking which made it pretty awkward but my sister told me that that was the whole point of it.

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So I made a wish, and blew the candles.

I felt really thankful that the family cleared their schedules just to have dinner with me. It’s really rare to have the whole family gather nowadays as we’re too busy with our own commitments, so I really appreciate family time a lot. 🙂

So then Saturday came, and we stayed in a suite for the day and night.

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We had this suite for the whole day and it was definitely fun spending a day with the crew! Here are some photos of what went down that day.

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Hows my potential in working in a circus after retirement?

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My friends also got me a pinata, and the rule of the game was pretty simple – To spin me for 10 rounds blind folded before being able to hit the pinata, which was actually pretty hard.

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I eventually managed to hit the pinata with the help of the guys, but I’m not going to say how long I took to hit the pinata! Really thankful to them for making my birthday party an enjoyable one.

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So it was cake cutting time after that and they got me an Awfully chocolate cake which tasted awfully good (pun intended), and as usual, I made a wish before cutting the cake.

My birthday wishes are actually almost the same every year, and it’s actually a really simple wish, and that is to wish for Happiness – I know happiness is a broad term and we all have different definitions of happiness, so I’ll explain what happiness means to me.

The key to happiness consist of 3 aspects – family, friends, and life goals.


Family – As the saying goes, “A man travels the world in search of what he needs, and he returns home to find it.” George Moore.

Having a healthy and happy family has always been a top priority in my life. We strive to avoid any serious illnesses and of course avoid/settle any arguments before they get out of hand, which is why our family still stay closely bonded up to date.

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Friends – I really treasure the honesty we have among this genuine bunch of friends. It’s honestly hard to find true friends due to the competitiveness of the sport, so I’m really grateful that we were still able to put our competitiveness aside and treasure friendship more than anything else, which is what makes us a really strong clique even when we’re out of the pool. It’s sad to see that most of them have retired from the sport but I’m glad we would still clear our schedules to meet up once in awhile to catch up on our lives. Glad to see that most of them are doing really well post retirement!

Swimming can only last for so long, but strong friendships will last a lifetime.


Life Goal – My goal in life in to qualify for the Olympics before I retire from the sport. My original goal was to aim to qualify in the Olympics in 2012, but I failed to qualify for it as I had other mandatory commitments, so I’m going to try to qualify for it again in 2016.

This would probably be my last shot trying to qualify for the Olympic team, but no matter what the results may be, I’ll still be happy as I’ve achieved what I’ve set myself out to achieve in the sport, so I’ll have no regrets. I’ve been looking at the blue T and smelling like chlorine for the past 16 years, it’s really scary how fast time flies sometimes.

All in all, I would like to emphasize that these are just wishes, we can wish for them to happen, but we have to also work hard towards those wishes so that we can turn those wishes into reality.

Finally, the last part of my celebration was a treat from my mentor, Yeoh.


If you all have been following my Instagram and Facebook posts, you’ll realize that I’ve actually thanked Yeoh for the wonderful birthday present, and most of you may have mistook it for the Maclaren, so let me explain it to you.

The birthday present wasn’t actually the Maclaren, but it was an important life lesson –

This photo was taken during the Maclaren road show. I was initially afraid to go near the Maclaren as there was no way in the world I was going to afford a car like that.

“Come, lets take a photo with the car.” Yeoh told me.

I questioned him the rationale behind taking the photo so he explained it to me. He told me that the first step into achieving a goal is to believe that we can do it, he said that it doesn’t only apply for swimming, but it applies in life as well. He emphasized that as long as you believe in yourself and aim high, you’ll be able to achieve anything you set yourself out for.

“Don’t be afraid to go close to what you want, be bold, ask for the price so that you will know what is needed in order to achieve your goal. Only by feeling it, you’ll realize that it’s not impossible to afford it some day.” 

Yeoh’s story was also an inspiring one, he started off his career walking across the causeway into Singapore, and through hard work, he’s now the head of foreign exchange in a bank today. That goes to show that as long as we believe in ourselves and aim high, we’ll be able to achieve them some day.

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So with a blink of an eye, another year has flew by, and I’ve mature a lot as a person both physically and mentally. Even though times have changed, but the people who are closest to me still remain equally as close.

I sincerely hope that you all have a great takeaway message from my post today – which is to learn to believe more in yourself and believe that any goal is possible as long as you work hard towards them. 🙂

P.S. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for wishing me on my birthday, I know that I didn’t reply to everyone of you, but trust me, I have read them all, and it means a lot to me so I’m really really grateful for all the support you all have given to me!

I know I’ve gained quite a bit of support and some of you even look at me in a different light ever since SEA Games ended, but I just want you to know that I’m still the same person even as I was even before I won those medals. Medals don’t define who I am, but character does.

Before ending this post, I would like to challenge everyone reading this to take the first step towards your biggest goal in life, don’t be afraid to strive towards your goals, because the first step to success is the willingness to try. Just know that everyone starts from ground zero so you’re not alone. 🙂

With that, I hope you learnt a few things which I’ve learnt over the year in this blog post!

Till next time.


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