SPORTING HEROES > HALL OF FAME > CHEE SWEE LEE
Chee Swee Lee started running for her primary school at the tender age of 10. At 14, she was already representing Singapore in the SEAP Games, winning a silver medal in the 400m. She was to add two more silver medals to her haul from the 1971 and 1973 Games.
At 19, she created history at the 7th Asiad in Teheran in 1974 when she became the first woman in Singapore to win an Asian Games gold medal for track and field, ending a 12-year drought. To cap a fine performance she was awarded the Best Sportswoman title in 1974.
She clocked 55.08sec, smashing the 400m record by more than a second. Hers was the only second gold medal ever won for athletics in the series for Singapore. She added a silver and a bronze medal for the relays to her gold. With this renewed confidence, she clinched the 400m gold in the 1975 SEAP Games in Bangkok.
Her rapid rise was unfortunately cut short by an injury to her Achilles tendon sustained before the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Despite that, she would continue to compete successfully in college and club events in the United States and won athletics scholarships to see her through university. Although she has been living in the US for nearly 20 years, Swee Lee still holds on to her Singapore citizenship and the wonderful memories on the track.