TAO Li < Back  
Sport Swimming
CGA Singapore   
Gender Women
Born 10 Jan 1990 in Wuhan, CHN
Height1.60 m
Weight 58 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Singapore
Occupation Student
Languages English, Mandarin
Higher education Sports Administration: Auckland, NZL
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She started swimming as a child at a pool close to where she lived.
Why this sport? Her mother and father were both swimming coaches so she naturally developed an interest in the sport through their influence.
Club / Team Swimfast Aquatic Club: Singapore, SIN
Name of coach Ian Turner
Handedness Right
International Debut
Year 2005
Competing for Singapore
Tournament South East Asian Games
Location Philippines
General Interest
Nicknames Nugget. (Athlete, 02 Dec 2006)
Hobbies Listening to music, playing tennis, shopping and watching films. (Athlete, 02 Dec 2006)
Injuries In May 2012 she had surgery to remove a cyst in her right knee and fix a damaged left ankle ligament. (channelnewsasia.com, 26 Apr 2012)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs She likes to wear red clothes to give her luck. (asiaswimchamps.org, 23 Feb 2007)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Nothing is impossible." (Athlete, 02 Dec 2006)
Awards and honours She was named Singapore's Sportswoman of the Year for 2008 and 2007. (sportsschool.edu.sg, 25 Jun 2008, NOC, 08 Jul 2009)

By qualifying for the 100m butterfly final at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, she became the first swimmer representing Singapore to reach an Olympic swimming final. (Straits Times 30 Jan 2009)

Named as The Straits Times Athlete of the Year 2008. (Straits Times 30 Jan 2009)
Famous relatives Her mother and father were both provincial swimmers in Hubei, China. (asiaone.com, 11 Oct 2006)
Other information WALKING TALL
She put two fingers to her eyes, indicating that no one should look down on her before winning gold in the 50m butterfly at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. (Asiad Daily, 19 Nov 2010)

REWARD
She was awarded USD200,000 by Singapore's National Olympic Committee after winning gold and bronze medals at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. After returning to Singapore she donated part of her winnings to the sports school where she trains and studies. (asiaone.com.sg 23 Feb 2007, asiaone.com.sg, 30 Jan 2008)

FUNDING DISPUTE
She has spoken out against the Singapore Swimming Association's [SSA] decision to tax the monetary wards its athletes receive for performing well at international events. The funds raised from the tax were to be used to develop youth sports programmes as well as reward the athlete's coaches. "I've been in Singapore for five years but, up to now, the SSA has not paid for my overseas training. It's been paid for by my school," she said. "If they want to cultivate youth, they should find their own money, not pay using our awards. It's through our hard work that we got the money. So, I don't see the point that we should give the money to the youths." (asiaone.com, 08 Jul 2009)

FROM CHINA TO SINGAPORE
Born and raised in China, her mother Li Yan decided to move her only daughter to Singapore in 2002, despite her father being against it and training at provincial level in China. "There was every chance that she might have gone on to represent the Chinese national team," said her mother. "We never thought that she would swim for Singapore one day." She received her Singaporean citizenship in August 2005. (asiaone.com, 11 Oct 2006)

EARLY DAYS
When she was young, she was often mistaken for a boy because of her short hair and muscular arms. Her mother said she never wore a skirt and always kept her hair short. (asiaone.com, 11 Oct 2006)