Stories of Grit, Determination and Courage for the Masses

The Singapore National Olympic Council launches a collection of 50 inspiring sports stories in “50est: Stirring Stories for the Singapore Soul”

17 Apr 2015

Singapore, 17 April 2015 – The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) commemorated 50 of Singapore’s most inspiring sports stories in a book titled “50est: Stirring Stories for the Singapore Soul”. The book and its accompanying photo exhibition were launched by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower, Minister for Social and Family Development and President of the Singapore National Olympic Council at the Sports Hub Library today.

The stories in the 204-page book celebrate the human spirit capturing the grittiest, the boldest and the toughest beyond the sporting feats. Pioneer sporting champions join national athletes and teams in this collection of 50 profiles which varies from representatives in athletics to contract bridge and squash.

“This collection represents just a fraction of many other inspiring stories of our athletes” endeavours, many of which are still waiting to be told. The SNOC is pleased to play the role of sharing some of these stories to the public. The publication of this book is timely to commemorate Singapore’s 50th anniversary as these stories are testament to the progress we have made as a nation, not just in sports but also in building a nation,” said Mr Chris Chan, Secretary-General of the SNOC.

An example of grit is told through 32-year-old Mr Lim Yao Xiang, a former national water polo player and fin swimmer, who shared his setbacks and journey in the book. Resilient in the face of difficulties, he struggled to transit as a promising age-group swimmer to the national level and failed to make the cut to get into the SEA Games team. Undeterred, he shifted his focus to fin swimming and made it to the 2003 SEA Games squad to win a gold medal. His second attempt at SEA Games success was fulfilled when his hard work earned him a coveted spot in the men’s water polo team. Now a PE teacher at Raffles Institution and water polo coach, he said, “My story is very simple. It just says hard work and passion do pay off.”

Explaining the importance of sharing stories of our local athletes, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin said, “More significant than their triumphs must be the way they overcame all kinds of odds to fulfil their dreams. Indeed for these athletes and others like them every win is a testimony of not just their skills but their resilience and fighting spirit. It is such traits that we are celebrating with “50est”, a collection of profiles paying tribute to some of our best athletes.

“At heart, sports is an important rallying activity that brings people together, a good platform for community building. In the end, medals and records are wonderful. But it is people coming together which is the truest essence of sports. In this spirit, the SNOC would also like to dedicate this book to NTUC FairPrice Foundation, a sponsor of the SNOC since 2006, their generosity continues to inspire Singaporeans every day.”

Penned by a team of writers and reporters, the book’s editorial team was led by Mr Chua Chong Jin, a former journalist who currently divides his time teaching at the Nanyang Business School and his communications consultancy. Principal photographer Mr Danny Toh, an Art educator by profession, captured the true essence of the athletes in stunning black and white images, a selection of which will be displayed in a photo exhibition at the Sports Hub Library till August 2015.

The SNOC will be distributing the books to libraries in primary and secondary schools through Civica Pte Ltd, who manages Ministry of Education libraries as well as the Sports Hub Library. Copies of the book will also be distributed to other organisations and institutions such as the Institutes of Higher Learning, National Sports Associations and National Library Board. While the book is not for sale, the stories and photos will be available for the public to access via the website, An electronic copy of the book will be also available for download on the website.

The Sports Hub Library and Civica Pte Ltd, the official venue partners, will also be organising activities for the public where members of the public can meet the athletes and obtain copies of the book.


Annex A – Athletes featured in “50est: Stirring Stories for the Singapore Soul”

1Men's 4x100m Relay TeamAthletics
2Ang Peng SiongSwimming
3Scott AngTriathlon
4Men's TeamBasketball
5Dinah ChanCycling
6David-Jonathan ChanGymnastics
7Colin ChengSailing
8Bernie ChinSailing
9Sasha ChristianWaterski & Wakeboard
10Lewis ChuaWeightlifting
11Aleksandar DuricFootball
12Fandi AhmadFootball
13Feng TianweiTable Tennis
14K. JayamaniAthletics
15Jing JunhongTable Tenis
16Janine KhooEquestrian
17C KunalanAthletics
18Timothy Lee & Mark LeeDiving
19Lee Yu-WenBowling
20Lee Wung YewShooting
21David LimSwimming
22Lim Heem WeiGymnastics
23Lim Wei WenFencing
24Lim Yao XiangWaterpolo
25Mok Ying RenAthletics
26Muhammad Ridhwan AhmadBoxing
27Muhammad Jaris GohBowling
28Bryan NgRugby
29Ng HanbinBasketball
30Brandon OoiCanoeing
31May OoiSwimming & Mixed Martial Arts
32Veronica Shanti PereiraAthletics
33Dipna Lim PrasadAthletics
34Gabriel QuakFootbal
35Saiyidah AishahRowing
36Joesph SchoolingSwimming
37U.K ShyamAthletics
38Benedict TanSailing
39Tan Yoke LanContract Bridge
40Tao LiSwimming
41Teo Shun XieShooting
42Martina Lindsay VelosoShooting
43Men's TeamWaterpolo
44Derek WongBadminton
45Scott WongWeightlifting
46Gary YeoAthletics
47Jonathan YeoSailing
48Yin Jing YuanTable Tennis
49Zainal AbidinSquash
50"X" SportsAll Sports

Annex B – Book synopsis, specifications and project team

Book synopsis
Think of sports and one thinks of superlatives. Among athletes, there’s always the fastest, the strongest, the greatest. Beyond sporting feats, one celebrates the human spirit captured in terms like the grittiest, the boldest and the toughest. Taking a cue from this and from Singapore’s 50th anniversary, the Singapore National Olympic Council has put together a collection featuring 50 of our nation’s sports stories in “50est: Stirring Stories for the Singapore Soul”.

Book specifications
Size: 230mm (W) x 180mm (H)
Contents: 204 pages
Inside: Black and white
Finishing: Matt lamination with “Gold” hot-stamping on front cover



Project team

Thread sewn and hard case
Publisher: Singapore National Olympic Council
Editor: Chua Chong Jin
Photographer: Danny Toh
Copy editor: Jeannette Xavier
Senior writers: Team from Asia Edit & Teo Cheng Wee
Reporters and writers: Teams from Inkspire & Cutting@dge
Athlete reporter: Kenneth Khoo
Designer: Chloe Sng
Printer: Unique Colour Separation Pte Ltd

Chan Chao Peh, Jerome Seow, Lee Min Kok, Radha


Dedicated to:


NTUC FairPrice Foundation, a sponsor of the

Singapore National Olympic Council since 2006

Venue partners:


Sports Hub Library & Civica Pte Ltd