Meet the new Taekwondo World Champion, a 67-year-old nun

At just 4-foot-11, the petite nun knew how to protect herself.

“I’ve always been petite. If I could run and kick, I wouldn’t have to carry a weapon to protect myself,” said a Singaporean sister who weighed less than 110 pounds.

According to an article by TNP Singapore, Sister Linda Sim explained that despite her petite stature, “I am the weapon”.

Although she joined the Franciscan missionaries of the Holy Mother 43 years ago, she is still practicing her art to an impressive level.

Now you may be wondering if there is no conflict between practicing martial arts and devoting yourself to God as a nun. However, Sr. Linda shared that, for her, “Pin Shi (a series of movements in Taekwondo) is an art form and to me it is like a dance. It is not violent, (world authority) ) The motto of World Taekwondo is “Peace is more precious than victory. “

Interestingly, she cites the saint who inspired her command to explain: “…St. Francis is credited with praying ‘Let me be your channel of peace.’ Taekwondo has enabled me to reach people in a non-church language.”

become a world champion

In April 2022, the 5th dan black belt used his skills to become the first Singaporean to win a gold medal at the World Taekwondo Pinshi Championships in South Korea.

Unlike many other martial arts, this defensive sport requires athletes to fight imaginary opponents (we can’t help but wonder if Sir Linda is pretending she’s fighting some kind of demon, or maybe the devil himself!). She beat six other contestants in her age group to become the world champion in the over-65 crowd.

On winning an impressive title, Sir Linda shared:

“When I reached a major milestone in my taekwondo journey, I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt great because it was the first gold medal for Singapore and I am so thankful to God.”

David Koh, Acting Chairman of the Singapore Taekwondo Foundation (STF), also shared: “The Singapore Taekwondo Association is very proud of her. She is also a shining example to our young Singaporeans that sport is for everyone.”

dynamic sister

It seems that Sr. Linda is always drawn to the action. As a young girl, she wanted to join the police, or become a soldier. She was intimidated when she found out that women were more involved in paperwork.

So this young woman switched from chasing her life-saving dreams to saving spiritual lives. Despite her mother’s concerns, Sister Linda felt the call to serve God. Her mother feared she would lose a daughter, and it took her more than 10 years to accept her decision. But as the athletic sister explained:

“I’ve been to all the parties, I’ve been to all the sports, but I’m so empty inside. I’ve always felt the excitement of God calling me, and I’ve only found peace when I join the sisters.”

While my sister traveled the world with her work, including 17 years at a convent in the UK and 3 years as an administrator at a hospital in Zimbabwe, it was 15 years ago that she was working with suffering children from In cancer, she began to take her passion for the sport more seriously.

In fact, STF is teaching Taekwondo to children battling cancer at the Assisi Hospital established by FMDM in Singapore. The next thing my sister knew was that she was receiving instruction from STF herself to help her teach.

One thing led to another, she realized she wasn’t too old to take the sport to a higher level and ended up competing in Korea.

“After I saw the white-haired women play, I thought I’d like to train to represent Singapore because I’m proud to be a Singaporean.”

While Sr. Linda is busy coordinating the missionary work of the FMDM sisters in Singapore, she has also devoted some time to 25 international competitions and an impressive 30 medals.

The world champion has actually had to train three times a week to compete in her most recent races, and while she’s a little sore from the wear and tear, she insists “age doesn’t matter to me”.

Normally, nuns are past retirement age and don’t seem to be wearing black belts anytime soon. On Saturdays, she tutors the children, and as one of the parents, Ms. Pamela Lim noted:

“Sister Linda is a really good role model for young children. We can see her passion and commitment to kickboxing and all the work she does as a Catholic nun.”

Hopefully Sr. Linda will have more time to use her passion for Taekwondo as a tool to inspire others.


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