A Catholic nun in Singapore won the gold medal in the World Taekwondo Poomsae championship.
The fifth-dan black belt holder, Sister Linda Sim became the first Singaporean gold medalist in a world-level Taekwondo Poomsae Championships held in Goyang, South Korea on April 21-24.
The 67-year-old, Sister Linda, a member of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM), won the gold medal after beating six other athletes in the over 65 years of age category for individual women.
“Poomsae” is a series of attacks and defenses in Taekwondo to fight the imaginary opponent.
David Koh, the President of the Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) is very proud of her.
Koh commended, “She is also a shining example to our young-at-heart Singaporeans that sports are for everyone.”
Taekwondo is her life-long passion next to Jesus as her topmost priority.
“Age is not an issue for me,” the nun said.
Three times a week for about nine months she went for the intensive training that made her on top of the world.
Sister Linda expressed her joy, “I felt on top of the world as I have reached a major milestone in my taekwondo journey.”
The nun joined the religious order of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM) 43 years ago as she felt God is calling her to religious life.
Even with her mother’s contraction, because of the latter’s fear of losing her, Sister Linda joined the FMDM, the founders of Mt. Alvernia Hospital in Thompson Road.
As the daughter of a civil staff father and accountant mother, she had a dream of becoming a soldier or police officer.
In her teenage years, young Linda went to all kinds of partying and exploring sports in all fields but she only felt the vague emptiness within herself. She narrated, “I only found peace after I joined the sisters.”
After 43 years of being a Religious Nun, she still maintained her athletic posture, petite and small-framed, stands 4 feet and 11 inches tall, and weighs less than 110 lbs.
Remembering Taekwondo’s motto, she said, “Peace is more precious than triumph” which is not in contradiction with her religious life. So, she ventured again into Taekwondo.
Sister Linda thought her passion for Taekwondo would just be stagnant as she entered the convent to serve God and offer herself in the mission.
The nun narrated, "After I saw grey-haired ladies compete, I thought I wanted to train to represent Singapore as I am very proud to be Singaporean."
The nun has contested about 25 international competitions since 2011 and awarded over 30 medals. At the 2018 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships, she won the bronze medal.
The nun served 17 years in England and three years in Zimbabwe as the administrator of a hospital.
She was teaching the children Taekwondo after attending the training from STF. Now Sister Linda is in the mission work of the FMDM Sisters in Singapore.
Ms. Pamela Lim, a 32-year-old educator, remarked that Sister Linda is an energetic coach and a good model for young children. - Patrick Soe Htun
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