1991

PROFESSOR CHAN HENG CHEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE & CHAIRMAN, NAC

1992

DR KANWALJIT SOIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON & FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

1993

HEDWIG ANUAR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LIBRARY

1994

LEAENA TAMBYAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER, AWWA SPECIAL SCHOOL

1995

YU-FOO YEE SHOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER MINISTER OF STATE & TRADE UNIONIST

1996

FANG AI LIAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHAIRMAN & MANAGING PARTNER, ERNST & YOUNG

1997

ELIZABETH SAM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DEPUTY PRESIDENT, OCBC BANK

1998

CLAIRE CHIANG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, BANYAN TREE HOLDINGS

1999

JENNIE CHUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, RAFFLES INTERNATIONAL

1999

KIT CHAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER & ACTRESS

1999

TERESA HSU
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER, HOME FOR THE AGED SICK & HEART TO HEART SERVICES

2000

DR JENNIFER LEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KK WOMEN’S & CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

2000

JING JUNHONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
HEAD COACH, NATIONAL WOMEN’S TABLE TENNIS TEAM

2001

CHNG SEOK TIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ARTIST, WRITER & COMMUNITY WORKER

2001

STEFANIE SUN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER-SONGWRITER

2002

OLIVIA LUM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER & GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HYFLUX LTD

2002

ELIM CHEW
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
ENTREPRENEUR & FOUNDER, 77TH STREET

2003

HALIMAH YACOB
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT & TRADE UNIONIST

2003

DR WONG TING HWAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SURGEON & HUMANITARIAN WORKER

2004

ANNABEL PENNEFATHER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
LAWYER & VICE PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL

2004

LI JIAWEI
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FORMER NATIONAL TABLE TENNIS PLAYER

2005

EULEEN GOH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STANDARD CHARTERED SINGAPORE

2005

THERESA GOH
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2005

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2006

LIM SOO HOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF FINANCE

2006

ESTHER TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NAVAL DIVER & ENDURANCE SPORTS SPECIALIST

2007

DR NOELEEN HEYZER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS & SOCIAL SCIENTIST

2007

MELISSA KWEE
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL VOLUNTEER & PHILANTHROPY CENTRE

2008

GOH SOO KHIM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CO-FOUNDER & FORMER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE

2008

LAURENTIA TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
PARALYMPIC EQUESTRIAN ATHLETE

2008

YIP PIN XIU
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2009

LIM HWEE HUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CABINET MINISTER

2009

SINGAPORE WOMEN'S EVEREST TEAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MOUNTAINEERS

2009

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 50TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2010

DR CHEONG KOON HEAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT BOARD

2010

DR MARISSA TEO
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH FELLOW, NATIONAL CANCER CENTRE SINGAPORE

2010

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR, YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER & SPECIAL AWARD
SEE PHOTOS

2010

DR OON CHIEW SENG
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, APEX HARMONY LODGE

2011/12

PROFESSOR IVY NG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SINGHEALTH

2011/12

JANICE WONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHEF & OWNER OF 2AM:DESSERTBAR

2011/12

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2013

ASSOC PROFESSOR LIM SWEE HIA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR DIRECTOR, SINGHEALTH-ALICE LEE IAN

2013

DR YEO SZE LING
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH SCIENTIST, A*STAR INSTITUTE FOR INFOCOMM RESEARCH

2013

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2014

RACHEL ENG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
JOINT MANAGING PARTNER, WONG PARTNERSHIP

2014

SIM CHI YIN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

2014

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2015

ZURAIDAH ABDULLAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

2015

PRISCILLA SHUNMUGAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FASHION DESIGNER, ONG SHUNMUGAM

2015

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 55TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2016

SUDHA NAIR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FAMILY VIOLENCE SPECIALIST CENTRE

2016

JENNY TAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DIRECT FUNERAL SERVICES
2008
YIP PIN XIU
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER

SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO: This swimmer overcame insurmountable odds to make Singapore sports history at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics

When Yip Pin Xiu was seven, she gave up at the 600m mark during her first attempt at getting her 1,500m Distance Swimming Award. “Everyone was swimming past me, and I just couldn’t keep up,” she recalls. It was the first time she was competing with able-bodied kids, and she was forced to confront her physical disabilities. Now 17, Pin Xiu was diagnosed with hereditary sensory motor neuropathy, which causes nerve functions and muscles to progressively deteriorate. The incident made Pin Xiu focus on doing her personal best instead of competing with others. A year later, she completed the swim without a hitch.

The lesson has since put Pin Xiu in good stead. She made history when she won the Republic’s first Olympic-level gold medal in the women’s 50m backstroke at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. With a time of 58.75s, she beat her nearest opponent by more than seven seconds and seven metres. She also won a silver in the 50m freestyle and set two world records at the heats of both events.

A CUT ABOVE THE REST
Pin Xiu is distracted by the SMSes she receives on her phone when you talk to her, and loves going shopping. But that’s where her similarities with other teenagers end. She has been wheelchair-bound since age 11, the vision in her left eye is blurring, and she is losing control of motor skills in her wrist and grip. It’s no wonder then that she finds reprieve in the water. Once she slips from her wheelchair and into the water, she is in her element.

Pin Xiu joined her brothers for swimming lessons when she was five and started swimming competitively when she was 12, after a volunteer at the Singapore Disability Sports Council noticed how she could keep up in the water with the able-bodied kids. Her coach of five years, ex-Olympian Ang Peng Siong, says: “Pin Xiu genuinely loves the water and picks up techniques quickly. During a competition, she gives her all and focuses on what needs to be done.”

STEELY RESOLVE
When Pin Xiu wakes up every morning, she punches her mattress to gauge her strength. “If I can’t hit properly, then I know that my muscles have deteriorated further,” she says matter-of-factly. “But I don’t dwell on it. There’s nothing to feel bad about because it’s all part of who I am. After going through so much, like losing the ability to walk, I know what to expect.”

This never-say-die attitude was inculcated in Pin Xiu by her parents, engineering firm partner Yip Chee Khiong and Singapore Airlines senior officer Margaret Chong, both 54. They never made her feel any different from her two elder brothers Alvin, 24, and Augustus, 22, who are undergraduates. “We never gave Pin Xiu any special care. If she fell down, she had to learn how to pick herself up,” says Margaret. On yearly holidays with her family, Pin Xiu goes wherever her brothers go—even if it’s on the scariest rollercoaster rides. Some rides have room for wheelchairs, and for the rest, her brothers help carry her onto the seat.

A PERSONAL BEST
Life has changed for Pin Xiu after her wins in Beijing. Strangers now come up to her for an autograph or a snapshot. And she has to get used to seeing pictures of herself plastered in public. Peng Siong has also seen a difference in Pin Xiu after the Paralympics. “She has more confidence, sees more purpose in what she’s doing, and better understands her role in helping and inspiring the disabled community,” he notes.

Her medals from Beijing are proud additions to her collection of 38 golds, from competitions like the 4th ASEAN Para Games 2008 and the 22nd International German Swimming Championships displayed prominently all over her home. Away from the water, she recently completed her O levels, but hasn’t figured out what she wants to do in the future. But one thing she knows for sure: “I don’t want to ever stop training. I know that I can achieve what I want as long as I put my mind to it.” HW