SINGAPORE: After 18 years and two Olympic medals, paddler Li Jiawei finally called time on her career in December 2012.
The China—born Li was granted citizenship in 1999 after arriving three years earlier, and helping lift Singapore table tennis to world standards.
Li will return to China later in January to join her husband and her three—year—old son, but wants to maintain ties with her adopted country.
"Thank you for your support, thank you Singapore, I love you," she said.
While the 31—year—old athlete might be saying goodbye for now, she is still contributing to the sport.
One way she is giving back — by sharing her vast experience with young paddlers.
Some 60 youths, aged nine to 16, from the Singapore Sports School and the Table Tennis Association’s Youth Development Squad had that rare chance on Friday at the Youth Olympic Games Gallery.
Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) said Li might conduct holiday camps for students in future, or even take up employment with a Singapore company based in China.
"Though I have retired, I am always a member of STTA, and as and when my service is required, wherever I am I will try my best to oblige and wherever I am, I will still be very concerned for the progress of the players in Singapore," she said.
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