athlete of the week
Each week we talk to HK's brightest and best
Name Tang Chui-fan
School Sha Tin Public School
Grade Form Six
Achievements Chui-fan started swimming at the age of eight.
The mentally handicapped 18-year-old has been a member of the Hong Kong mentally handicapped swimming squad since 2003. She began to focus on the butterfly stroke four years ago and has since won many international awards.
Last year at the fourth Inas-Fid Open European Swimming Championships, she won five golds, a silver and a bronze medal. This brilliant achievement earned her the Hong Kong Sports Institute Outstanding Junior Athlete Awards in the same year.
Soundbite 'I like swimming therefore I swim. I can't tell you the reason why I love swimming.
'I have nine training sessions a week, for a total of 16 hours. Swimming occupies most of my time but I don't find it a problem because I just love doing it.
'I spend my spare time just like any other teenager. I like surfing the internet and playing computer games.
'Now, I'm concentrating on butterfly-style training. My coach told me that I have a talent for this event, so I'm going for it.
'I don't have any favourite swimming style. As long as I'm swimming, I'm having fun.
'Because of swimming, I'm able to travel around the world. At first, I was a bit scared to leave home for competitions but I'm used to it now. I find it is a great opportunity to train myself to be independent.
'I would like to be a swimming coach in the future. Therefore, I have to work hard in both my training and my swimming. It would be great if I can get a scholarship to study at university.'
From her coach 'Chui-fan is a hard working swimmer. She has got the rhythm and co-ordination needed for the butterfly. She behaves well and sticks to the training schedule. This is why she has improved a lot in just a few years,' said coach Eric Kam Chi-ho.
Ambitions 'I aim to represent Hong Kong in the 2012 Paralympic Games and get the same brilliant results as Michael Phelps did.'