Yip Pin Xiu, 24-year-old Singapore para-swimmer, has won a gold medal in the 100m backstroke S2 event with a world record in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Saturday (10 September). Making it the second gold medal won in Rio de Janeiro after Joseph Schooling’s medal in the Olympics.
Competed with 5 other swimmers at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio, Yip also broke the world record by finishing the race in just 2min 7.09sec, beating China’s Feng Yazhu (2min 18.65sec) and Ukraine’s Iryna Sotska (2min 21.98sec).
In the 2008 Beijing Paralympics on 15 September, Yip was scheduled to be given $100,000 under the Singapore National Paralympic Council Athlete Achievement Awards scheme when she won her first gold medal.
In response to a question filed in Parliament on 19 September 2008, Mr Teo Ser Luck who was the then-Senior Parliamentary Secretary said, “One of the things that we have to look at is that the Olympics competition level is actually quite different. The Olympics competition is a free world competition. Paralympians can join Olympics. Olympians cannot join Paralympics. That is one thing you look at – the level of competition.
Secondly, the base of competition within the Olympics is a lot broader and the base of competition for Paralympics is smaller and is segmentised because Paralympics is based on the disabilities which are classified differently. So that is a different scale of competition.”
Though Yip had previously said, “Over the years, I’ve always had friends coming up to me and said I should be given more. But I don’t make a hoo-ha about it. Because we don’t do it for the money.”
However seemingly due to public pressure, Yip eventually received $200,000 for her efforts. Nevertheless, it is a fifth of the $1 million that an able-bodied athlete would have received for an Olympic gold.
Public continue to hold intense criticism over the disparity of prize money compared to the Olympic winners, who happened to be the China-born Singapore Table Tennis team that was given $750,000 for their bronze medals. Not the matter of money but the perception that both sporting events are viewed the same.
Netizens are very proud of her efforts and achievements and reminded the Government and members of the public to give her the recognition she deserves.
— Fiona Rae (@FionaRae666) September 10, 2016
Why are they not streaming Paralympic on tv? WHY? Why are they not showing re-runs of Yip Pin Xiu's Gold medal & World record race?
— Kristel Castles (@AquaBread) September 10, 2016
Singapore swimmer Yip Pin Xiu breaks backstroke world record, takes home gold at #Rio2016Paralympics
— Elizabeth Law (@lizzlaw_) September 10, 2016
GOLD for Yip Pin Xiu in the #Paralympics! She's broken her own world record in the 100m backstroke S2 event! 🇸🇬
— Teng Kiat (@tengkiat) September 9, 2016
— M. Ibnur Rashad (@mirashad) September 8, 2016