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Pat Chan

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Patricia Chan Li-Yin (陈丽燕; born 12 April 1954), popularly known as Pat Chan and the "Golden Girl", is a retired swimmer from Singapore. Between 1965 and 1973 she won 39 gold medals at Southeast Asian Games, which was the best achievement for a Singaporean athlete in any sport until 2005. She competed in eight events at the 1966 and 1970 Asian Games and won 3 silver and 5 bronze medals.[1] At the 1970 Games she set a national record in the 200 m backstroke that stood for 23 years. At the 1972 Summer Olympics she was the flag bearer for Singapore and competed in the 100 m and 200 m backstroke events, but failed to reach the finals.[2] Chan was named the Best Sportswoman of Singapore for five consecutive years (1967–1971).[3] In 2002, she was inducted into the Singapore Sports Council Hall of Fame and ranked fourth among Singapore's 50 greatest athletes.[4]

Pat Chan
Patricia Chan 1966.jpg
Patricia Chan in 1966
Personal information
Full name Patricia Chan Li-Yin
Nationality Singapore
Born (1954-04-12) 12 April 1954 (age 64)
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 64 kg (141 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke, Freestyle, Medley
Club Chinese Swimming Club

Chan retired from competitions in 1973, aged 19, to become the first Singaporean female professional coach. She later turned to journalism, and currently runs her own media company, Visus Inq.[4]


Patricia and her siblings were coached by their father, Chan Ah Kow, the Singaporean Coach of the Year in 1970 and 1971. Her brother Roy Chan Kum Wah, won a bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games in the 4×200 m relay.[1][5][6] Her two other brothers, Alex Chan Meng Wah and Bernard Chan Cheng Wah, were swimmers too; the latter competed at the 1966 Asian Games and 1964 Summer Olympics.[7][8] Her other brother Mark Chan is a composer,[9][10] while her elder sister, Victoria Chan-Palay is a prominent neuroscientist in the United States and Switzerland.[11] Her niece, Marina, is an international swimmer.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Asian Games Winners" (PDF). Singapore National Olympic Council. 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  2. ^ Pat Chan.
  3. ^ Patricia Chan Archived 22 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine..
  4. ^ a b Patricia Chan Li-Yin Archived 19 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine..
  5. ^ "Swimmer Roy also shines in studies". The Straits Times. 1972-03-13. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  6. ^ "Roy to unveil plaque at Ocean Building". The Straits Times. 1974-07-17. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  7. ^ "Swim star weds". The Straits Times. 1978-08-04. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  8. ^ "Host Nations and Representatives for the Asian Games". Sports Museum of Singapore. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Little night music with Pat Chan". Fridae Asia. 2004-03-22. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  10. ^ "陈国华". China Central Television. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  11. ^ Govindram, Ranee (1975-06-15). "Ex-swim star gets rare varsity honour; Harvard award for Dr. Chan's daughter Vicky". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  12. ^ Toh Ting Wei (11 June 2014). "Marina keeps Chan name flying". The Straits Times. Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 15 September 2014 – via AsiaOne.