Jamie Yeung Reaches Olympics on Hong Kong Relay: ‘A Dream Come True’


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Jamie Yeung Reaches Olympics on Hong Kong Relay: ‘A Dream Come True’

Jamie Yeung had dreams of making the Olympics. Those dreams led her to train back in her native Hong Kong, and hang on to swimming an extra year since the pandemic pushed those dreams back to 2021.

But nothing was guaranteed. Yeung took a risk to swim that extra year, fighting for places to train, because her dream meant that much to her.

Now, she is headed to Tokyo.

Last week, the Hong Kong 4×100 medley relay qualified for the Olympics. Yeung swims the breaststroke leg of that relay and qualified for the first time, joining a trio of teammates — Karen Tam, Stephanie Au and Siobhan Haughey — who had already qualified in other events, but came together to form a very special Hong Kong relay.

“Coming off a really good senior year, I decided to give everything I’ve got to try to qualify for the Olympics,” Yeung told Swimming World. “It started rough because I kind of lost my purpose without the college team to swim for. It took me a while to adjust my mindset being a professional athlete. I had to re-figure out what training I needed, and what I was swimming for. While the pandemic almost got me thinking of retiring, it actually gave me a chance to train back home. I made changes to my lift and swim practices this year in order to find my stroke again. So it is really a dream come true, and a prove that determination hard work really pays off.”

The relay swam on May 30 at the Victoria Park Swimming Pool in Hong Kong, qualifying as the 15th-fastest medley relay in the world.

Yeung was an NCAA qualifier at the University of Michigan and trained an entire year post-grad in Ann Arbor along compatriot Siobhan Haughey, also a Michigan grad, before the pandemic forced them to find elsewhere to train. They eventually moved back to Hong Kong to continue training.


Photo Courtesy: David Wong

“The toughest part was realizing change my mindset on how to take charge of my own training. Training in Hong Kong I had great support and resources, but without Rick (Bishop_ being here, I realized I needed to be my own coach,” she said. “I was used to being told what to do in the pool and gym. But now I could make my own call on and it took me awhile to wake myself up mentally to take charge of my training. The most rewarding part is in addition to seeing that the risks I took by making big changes turned out great, I think I grew a lot as a swimmer and as a person. After all as an adult, you need to take charge of your life.”

The squad had to wait to see what would be needed to qualify, but was able to pass that mark.

“We did not know what time we had to go until the end of Europeans last week. We had one shot and it means so much to me to be part of the relay because it meant being in something bigger than myself,” Yeung said. “Something that I really missed after graduating from Michigan. I knew I had to do my part extremely well and I had a lot of faith in my teammates. Thankfully everything worked out and I was in awe when I saw the time on the scoreboard. It was really special to do it in-front of the home crowd, people that has saw me swim since secondary school.”

It was special to do it with Haughey, too, who has been there alongside Yeung for the biggest moments in Hong Kong and at Michigan.

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Jamie Yeung (left) and Siobhan Haughey. Photo Courtesy: Jamie Yeung

“Being on a relay with Siobhan is definitely super special. She is a superstar and world class athlete and I feel very humbled. Most importantly we have been through so much as friends and teammates that it was just an amazing feeling to come together and do something awesome,” she said.

Yeung has one more shot at qualifying as an individual in the 100 breaststroke.

“While I am extremely happy and excited about racing the relay in Tokyo, I am going to ride this wave and give it one last shot in my individual swim at the end of the month,” she said.

The pressure is off, but Yeung has been training for two years for this swim as she hopes to reach another dream.

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tom chiu
tom chiu
2 years ago

Go! Go! Hong Kong! Deep in my heart, Grateful and big big thank you to all of you girls to race for Hong Kong people in olympics. Being listed among the world’s fastest 16 itself is already an extremely wonderful and amazing thing. No matter what the result will be, we hongkonger are very very proud of you all!

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