By Wong Jeng Teng
After 13 years on the ice rink, TeamSG Short Track Speed Skater Cheyenne Goh has been putting on some groundbreaking performances recently, and she will certainly be looking forward to more milestones this year. Having represented Singapore for the first time last October, at the Intercontinental Short Track Invitationals in Calgary, Canada, Cheyenne built on that display to achieve her best competitive finish during this February’s Asian Winter Games.
Cheyenne Goh at 2016 World Cup 1 Calgary (Photo credit: Arno Hoogveld)
“I think I did pretty well. I finished 11th in the 500m [event], which I was quite happy with,” she shared, adding that it was an amazing experience turning out for TeamSG in the continental winter sports competition alongside athletes from other tropical countries. The 2017 Asian Winter Games was indeed monumental as TeamSG was represented by its largest contingent ever – a significant highlight for a country where winter sports still has much room for growth.
“Coming from a country with no winter whatsoever, we’ve definitely come very far. We have ice hockey teams, very strong figure skaters, and short-tracker speed skaters now as well,” she said. “It shows that, just like how we can do well in summer sports, Singaporeans have the potential to excel in winter sports as well,” Cheyenne pointed out.
Unlike most Singaporeans, Cheyenne has spent plenty of time on the ice, having started skating at the age of four, and played ice hockey for eight years before she turned her focus to speed skating. “After watching short track [speed skating] at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, my dad thought that I should try it out,” she shared. “My favourite part about ice hockey [was] always just skating, and I never really scored much, so I decided to just focus on skating fast,” said Cheyenne.
With a need for speed and the ambition to succeed, she is training hard for her debut SEA Games showing in Kuala Lumpur this August. “I’m a bit nervous because we’re going to have such a big team there. It’s going to be quite new to me, but [I’m] looking forward to the experience,” said Cheyenne, who is currently in Korea to train with the rest of the Singapore SEA Games short track team.
Cheyenne overtaking IND skater Varsha Puranik to earn a spot in the 500m quarterfinal (Photo credit: SISA)
The upcoming SEA Games will also be extra special, as her family, grandparents, and even extended family and friends will be heading down to watch her compete – the first time Cheyenne will be backed up by such a huge group of supporters. “It’s quite exciting for sure, though it definitely makes me a bit nervous, but that’s also good motivation and it pushes me knowing that the country is behind me and supporting me,” said Cheyenne, noting that many Singaporeans will also be watching her on the rink.
She will be competing in all three speed skating events, the individual ladies’ 500m and 1000m, as well as the 3000m ladies’ team relay. “I’m just hoping to do as well as I can, and maybe bring home a medal,” she said.
Cheyenne at AWG 2017 1500m semi-final 2 (Photo credit SISA)
Beyond the SEA Games, Team Singapore’s rising star also has bigger dreams for her future – an Olympic dream to be exact, as Cheyenne related: “Like most athletes, it’s my ultimate dream to make it to the Olympics, and if I can do well at the Olympics, even better!” Aside from wanting to achieve her personal goals, Cheyenne also hopes her achievements will help to inspire the younger generation, and propel the growth of winter sports in Singapore. “I think as the sport gains more exposure, it can generate more interest. If we do well, it’ll be a good inspiration for other people to try the sport!” she pointed.
Cheer for Cheyenne as she prepares to make a mark on the ice rink this August at the KL SEA Games. This is only the beginning for the ambitious skater, so back her up as #OneTeamSG! Follow the @Team Singapore Facebook page for updates on all our athletes’ performances this August!
More Info: www.myactivesg.com