She’s a rising star in the local sports scene, so don’t miss this exclusive interview with Tao Li.

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(3.41mb, 3 min 44 sec)

For those who do not understand Chinese, read the rest of the post to view the English transcript of the interview.

Hi, I’m Tao Li.

What memorable experiences did you have at the Beijing Games?
Firstly, I got into the Top 8 and eventually I finished fifth which was great. To be ranked fifth in the world is not easy. I also broke the Asian record twice and that was very unforgettable for me.

It is really something to be proud of. So what was your training regime like in Beijing?
We had a training plan to follow and we followed it through once we reached Beijing.

Did you train whole days? Or did you have time to rest?
We actually spent large amounts of the time resting. We needed to warm down our bodies before picking up the training. This is a pattern which we usually follow: alternating between light and tougher training. It is not possible to constantly improve our performance without sufficient downtime.

Since the competition is over, what have you been busy with?
I’m busy studying. Before the Olympics, I stopped attending school for a while. Now, I’m back in school and have a lot of work to catch up.

What do you do in your free time other than training?
I like to sing, ice-skate, and go for barbeques. Basically, I like to do everything that young people do.

What competitions are you preparing for next?
The next competition will be the FINA/ARENA World Swimming Cup. Now I’m in the recovery stage so the plans for that game is to gain some experience rather than aiming for a medal. This is also because my coach is still overseas now on holiday so we’ll have a break for about a month. There’s not much plans for the rest of this year.

What do you think about YOG?
I wanted to ask if I can be a torch bearer for the games. I really want to help out in YOG because I’m still only 18-years-old and considered a young person. I feel that it is important to feel the responsibility to help in these events.

Thanks for your support, we will get back to you about that. 🙂 What about your hopes for YOG?
I hope that Singaporeans will be able to win medals at YOG. I really want to give some support to my sport, swimming. Since I’m in the sports school, I know many swimming hopefuls and one of my best friends will be of the main competitors for YOG. Usually, she will ask me questions and I will share with her my experiences and techniques. I really hope she will do well at YOG.