Yui Lam Chan Aspiring To Set New World Record In S14 100m Butterfly At Paris 2024

Yui-lam Chan, a talented young swimmer from Hong Kong, is all set to mesmerise everyone with her terrific swim at the upcoming Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Despite facing various challenges due to intellectual impairment and other health issues, she has risen to represent her region- Hong Kong, China on the international stage. 

Chan enjoys the support of a loving family including her father, mother, older sister, brother, and a pet. Her biggest supporter is her mother, who has been by her side since she started swimming as a child.  

Even now that I represent our region in international competitions, she (her mother) will come over to the venue and cheer for me.” 

Chan’s role model is Siobhan Bernadette Haughey, a fellow swimmer known for her excellence and composure in competitions.  

She achieved excellent results in lots of competitions not only because she has a body that is born for swimming, but she also has a very stable mental and physical status in every competition,” Chan admires. 

Yui Lam was born prematurely, leading to various health issues, including a respiratory disease and began learning to swim at the age of 10, which soon grew into a passion.  

When I talk or do my work, the respiratory disease would make me cough like escaping from suffocation,” she explains. Swimming has significantly improved her condition by strengthening her cardiopulmonary functions. 

It was not until I started swimming that I discovered the feeling in the water and the fun in it. Now, I am even good enough to represent our region to take part in competitions.”  

Why I like swimming the most is not about results nor achievements I got but the people I met through my swimming journey like my teammates and coaches. Now that I can represent Hong Kong, China to compete worldwide, I also got the chance to meet top swimmers around the world. 

Her rigorous training schedule involves six days a week, with around three hours of training each day. Persistence, she notes, is the most challenging aspect of training.  

We are now representing our region to compete for remarkable results. Only by persisting and doing everything well during training can we achieve this goal.” 

Yui Lam Chan posing with ‘Best female award 2023’ on the left and with her fellow swimmers at the GG2023 podium on right. Photo Credit: T.Nguyen and Grégory Picout

Chan joined the swimming team through selection by the Hong Kong, China Sports Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability (HKSAPID) after a few years of learning swimming. Within a short span of 4 years, she was promoted to the elite team.

Yui Lam received her international eligibility with Virtus in January 2018 which opened doors for her at the international para-sports competitions. Her first international competition was the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series in Copenhagen, where she won multiple medals. She also broke an Asian record in the same year at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. In 2019, she achieved another breakthrough, participating in her first World Para Swimming Championships and broke her own Asian record again in 100m butterfly and won a bronze medal. This was also the first-ever World Para Swimming Championships medal in the history of the Hong Kong team.

Less than a month later, she competed in the Brisbane 2019 INAS Global Games and won an impressive tally of 2 golds, 3 silvers and 1 bronze in individual events. Her outstanding achievements also earned her the Certificate of Commendation in the Secretary of Home Affairs’ Commendation Scheme and the Cathay Pacific 2019 Hong Kong Junior Sports Stars Awards.

Earning around 58 medals, including six gold, four silver and one bronze from the 2023 Virtus Global Games, Yui Lam was awarded ‘Best Female Athlete of the Year – 2023‘ for her exceptional performance in the past few years.

Her favourite medal is from the Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships, where she won the gold in the 100M Butterfly.  

“The gold medal I won got me qualified for the Paralympics, which means a lot to me. I am so happy for that.”  

As she prepares for her second Paralympic Games, Yui Lam’s goal is to set foot on the podium and set a new world record in her major event, the 100M Butterfly. 

Both (HKSAPID) and Virtus have played crucial roles in Chan’s journey.  

HKSAPID offers us comprehensive training resources, while Virtus organizes competitions that drive athletes to reach our goals”, Chan acknowledges. 

Yui Lam’s message to young athletes with intellectual impairments is one of perseverance and dedication.  

I was a beginner like every one of you when I first got in touch with swimming. There is no shortcut to excel in anything except practice. When you find something you are interested in, keep doing it! If you keep practising what you like, your persistence will finally pay off when you reach your goal.” 

Yui Lam’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, support, and passion. As she prepares for the Paris Paralympic Games, she continues to inspire others with her dedication and achievements, proving that with hard work and support, anything is possible 

Join Virtus’ #MakingInvisibleVISIBLE campaign in making Yui Lam’s journey Visible. 


Intellectual impairment is an umbrella term to describe a vast and neuro-diverse group of people with varying types of cognitive impairments including intellectual disability, Down syndrome and autism. Having an intellectual impairment impacts how an athlete understands the rules of the sport, interacts with other players, and adjusts to different environments. They might find it difficult to manage reaction times, remember specific race or game strategies, retain focus for long period of time, or maintaining impulse control.