Return to Glory: Sailor Victoria Chan Aims for Olympics

Chan has her eyes set on qualifying for the Olympics for the first time, despite last competing four years ago. 

The 2011 SEA Games sailing gold medallist made no promises about getting gold at this edition in the Philippines, but instead will use it as a testing bed for her Olympic dreams. 

The Asian leg of the Olympic qualifiers are in March.

“Definitely, in any competition that you represent Singapore, you want to do your best and bring glory for the nation,” she told The New Paper.

“But, for me, the Games are more like a stepping stone to the Olympics.

“I want to qualify for the Olympics, that’s the goal for me. So, this is a great event for me to see where I’m at in that regard.”

Her previous competition was the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, where she clinched a silver in the individual Laser Radial event, the same category she will be competing in during this year’s SEA Games running from 30 November to 11 December. 

Then a chronic ligament injury in her left wrist swayed her to take a break from sailing and undergo surgery.

Post-surgery, she joined the People’s Association and is now a manager at the PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay Lifeskills & Lifestyle Division.

Chan mentioned that the flexibility of her work schedule and missing the spirit of competition was what urged her to return to competitive sailing last June. 

The 29-year-old said, “My company has been supportive of my interest and this gave me more motivation to try out for the Games.

“I am able to put in at least 16 hours of training (a week) whilst still working. With their backing, I felt really supported in my pursuit to make a comeback.”

She also said she loved making her own decisions out at sea, where you are all alone and you have to persevere.

“You don’t hear your coaches out in the sea…even just coming back is satisfying and I want to focus on the process of improving.”

While Chan was out on her hiatus, her competitors were improving in leaps and bounds – something Chan is more than aware of. 

“I know I have to train hard because, while I was out of the sport, the others have been training and improving.

“Malaysia and Thailand have Olympians taking part, so it’s not going to be easy.

“But I want to see where I stand against the pack.”


This article first appeared on The New Paper.




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