Yip Pin Xiu gets S$800,000 instead of S$400,000 as DBS tops up prize for her 2 Paralympic gold medals

DBS stepped in as a co-sponsor to match the original award.

Andrew Koay | October 17, 2021, 01:30 PM

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Singapore's five-time Paralympics champion Yip Pin Xiu has been awarded S$800,000 for her double gold medal showing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The amount was twice what she would have originally received had DBS Bank not been named as a co-sponsor for the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC)'s Athletes Achievement Awards (AAA).

In a press release, SNPC said DBS would be matching the cash awards given out through the AAA scheme for an initial commitment of two Paralympic cycles — until the 2024 edition of the games in Paris.

The arrangement will see the bank come alongside the scheme's primary sponsor Tote Board and will apply to cash awards for other major para games as well.

Disparity in cash awards

Yip — who won gold medals in the Women's 50m Backstroke - S2 and the Women’s 100m Backstroke - S2 at the Tokyo games — was presented with two cheques amounting to S$800,000 at an awards ceremony on Oct. 16.

Yip had initially been awarded S$200,000 for each gold medal.

"Representing Singapore at the highest level is a privilege and to have won two gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is testament to the hard work that the team and I have put in," she said.

"I am glad that Singapore is taking active steps towards achieving parity for the cash quantum and this is a step in the right direction."

Yip had previously spoken on the issue of award disparity between Paralympians and Olympians, with Joseph School getting S$1 million for his gold medal effort at the Rio Olympics.

"This inequality is happening," she said to Mothership.

"For me personally, I don't think it's really so much about the money, but it's more of the message that is sent out... that people with disabilities are not equal."

The lack of parity then become the news.

Government committed to para-athletes: Edwin Tong

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, who presented the awards to Yip, encouraged more well-wishers and donors to support the cause of para-athletes.

He added that the government was committed to working with stakeholders to make disability sports accessible and encourage participation.

A total of 20 per cent of Yip's total cash award will go to the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) and SNPC to fund future training and support Singapore's participation at para games.

Meanwhile, Singapore's swimming queen intends to continue her reign in the pool, adding that she has set her eyes on the Paris games in 2024.

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Top image from Singapore National Paralympic Council and via Sport Singapore