Diagnosed with autism in her early years, Nicole has overcome numerous challenges to thrive in the pool and on the field. Nicole started swimming when she was 9 years old and has been actively involved in swimming, athletics and bowling at many local competitions.
Gentle and friendly by nature, Nicole has developed a good understanding of competition and sportsmanship and she endeavors to train hard to achieve her goals. Her biggest supporters are her family, relatives and teachers. Her parents are always at her training sessions, ensuring that Nicole is able to follow the instructions, and that she enjoys the sessions.
Nicole showed her winning spirit at the recent SPH Foundation National Para Swimming Competition. Prior to the event commencing, Nicole twisted her ankle on the slippery floor near the pool. Whilst she was visibly in discomfort from the injury and had the opportunity to withdraw from the competition, she told her coach and parents that she wanted to stay the course and compete. She demonstrated strong character and determination, winning her events.
Nicole was part of the Singapore Special Olympics swim team at the SO LA2015 World Games, a multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities held in Los Angeles, United States. The Games hosted more than 6,500 athletes from 177 countries and the opening ceremony featured performances by Stevie Wonder and Avril Lavigne; and a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama. As Nicole learns better with visuals, her parents and coaches created logbook with schedules, daily milestones, and pictures to manage her expectations for the training sessions and competition. Nicole won a gold and a bronze medal in the 50m and 100m freestyle events respectively.
In her free time, Nicole loves to draw and do word search puzzles. As a fan of Disneyland, Nicole has visited Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland with her family. She hopes to visit Walt Disney World in Florida one day.
Nicole loves arts and crafts and she is presently working as an artisan at Personalised Love, a social enterprise that trains and employs special needs artisans in artisan crafts. Her ability and attention to detail can be seen in her handcrafted products. Nicole and her family are thankful for PLove for providing a strong platform for Nicole to learn and grow her interest in this area, allowing her to hone her skills for future employment.
—-Story written by Nicole’s parents, Clarence & Ferin Fu as Nicole is non-verbal—