At one point, gold-medal winning Singapore swimmer Clement Lim was bedridden for two days because he has Ankylosing Spondylitis, or A.S. “I was actually quite afraid that I’d never be able to swim again,” 22-year-old Southeast Asia (SEA) Games competitor recalled.
In 2012, Lim lost the vision in his right eye, which led to his diagnosis. A.S. is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, but can also cause problems in other areas of the body. The disease is genetic and can lead to severe chronic pain. “I’d heard horror stories…that your spine can fuse together, but the doctor told me those were extreme cases and now I’ve come to live with it,” said Lim
The pills he takes get a pass by the sports medical body–they’re approved to help Lim cope with the severe pain caused by his A.S.
Lim owns five gold medals for relay team participation during the 2009-2013 SEA Games. His goal this year? Winning an individual event. Speaking to The New Paper in May, Lim said, “Yes, my dream is to get a gold medal in the individual races, but the other swimmers are really strong, too.”
Many experts believe the 2015 Singapore swimming team is the strongest in years. One thing is certain, Clement Lim hopes to once again defy his disease and bring home the gold.