An Officer And A Triathlete: She Keeps An Eye On The Goal

She runs, she swims, she cycles – and is gunning for a medal too – all while serving the public. Meet triathlete Ethel Lin.

Seven years of toil and sweat are about to pay off for triathlete Ethel Lin, 27. Come June, she will be representing Singapore on home soil at the 28th SEA Games – and it is a very special kind of motivation indeed.

“I do want to get a medal for Singapore,” says the legal counsel with the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS). She adds with a laugh: “No pressure there, especially after everyone reads this!”

In fact, Ethel has been working part-time since October, and training 25 hours a week.

Her colleagues are willing her on too: the week after she qualified for the Games in March, she returned to the office to find a mock medal on her desk. “My bosses and colleagues take a genuine interest in what I do. They understand that I need to train and try not to overwhelm me with work,” says Ethel. Some of them are even planning to cheer her on at the Games.

As the CCS enforces antitrust legislation, Ethel’s work includes performing advocacy duties, advising the government on specific cases, and hearing complaints. And the mental strength and discipline derived from many hours of physical training also help with her job.

“I have tough deadlines to meet, and sometimes, when you’re still working at midnight, that mental toughness helps you to push through,” she says. “It’s similar to how I push through at training, which teaches you not to give up so easily.”

Since 2010, she has represented the nation at competitions such as the Asian Championships and the Asian Beach Games.

And while Ethel is someone who keeps to herself, she appreciates the value of having a good team around her.

“Excelling at sports or work is about focus. A lot of the motivation and focus is internal, but your environment and the people around you can always help.”

Catch Ethel in action at the SEA Games on June 6 at East Coast Park.

    May 1, 2015
    Nicholas Yong
    John Heng
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