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NUS student first Singapore gymnast to qualify for the Olympics

17 January 2012

Heem Wei on the balance beam for her pre-competition training

Heem Wei and father (middle) with her coaches, Yuan Kexia (left) and Zhao Qun (right), arriving at Changi Airport on 13 January after the London test event

Photos: Singapore Gymnastics
NUS student Lim Heem Wei created history by being the first Singapore gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. Come this July, the first-year business undergraduate will be competing at the London Olympic Games.

Singapore Gymnastics General Manager Fionna Thong attributed Heem Wei's excellent performance at last week's gymnastic test event in London to the gymnast's determination and grit. "The sacrifices she has made for the sport have truly paid off," she said.

Assistant Dean of NUS Business School Dr Helen Chai was delighted with the achievement. She said: "We have been working with Heem Wei to schedule her curriculum courseload so that she can balance her studies and her commitment to sports with her training and competitions, and we are glad that it has worked out well."

The gymnastics individual all-event is one of the most demanding sporting disciplines. Many female gymnasts started intensive gymnastic training in their early childhood and peak between the ages of 14 and 17. Unlike many other sports, a female gymnast may get only one shot at the Olympic Games before she is past her prime.

Said Head of NUS Sports and Recreation Mr Lawrenz Sim: "Qualifying for the Olympics is in itself an achievement of a lifetime. The entire NUS family rallies proudly behind Heem Wei."

NUS Business School and the Office of Student Affairs have been working closely in the past few months with the Singapore Sports Council and Singapore Gymnastics to support Heem Wei in both her academic and sporting pursuits. Heem Wei, who has an incredibly hectic training and overseas competition schedule, shared: "I cannot thank the university enough, particularly Dr Chai and Mr Sim for the special arrangements made to help me juggle with school and training."

Heem Wei revealed the secret of her success: "No matter how big or small a dream may be, it is all about dedication, staying focused, taking calculated risks and daring to chase that dream."

Click on video to view Heem Wei in action

By Office of Student Affairs