Deaflympics athlete Boon Wei Ying has been awarded several medals at the Deaflympics by performing in her favorite sport of badminton.
Now 27 years old, Deaflympics athlete Boon Wei Ying was interested in playing badminton at the age of eight. Though a challenging sport, she finds happiness in the game. “I find badminton interesting and exciting because it requires the coordination of our body and mind during the games,” she says.
“I find badminton interesting and exciting because it requires the coordination of our body and mind during the games.”
It was Wei Ying‘s audiologist who brought to her attention that badminton was a popular sport among deaf athletes. He introduced her to another deaf badminton player around that time. This led her to play in her first national championship in 2015, through the Federal Territory Deaf Sports Association. From this experience, Wei Ying learned about other deaf athletic championships – the Asia Pacific Deaf Games/Championship, World Deaf Championship, and Deaflympics.
She won her first ever national prize in 2015. She then was selected to be on the Malaysia badminton team for Asia Pacific Deaf Games in Taoyuan, Taiwan 2015. Her next stop was in Samsun, Turkey in 2017, where she competed successfully. In 2022, she competed in Caxias do Sul, Rio and added more medals to her collection.
Competing in both singles and doubles matches, she has performed well. In the 2017 Summer Deaflympics, she was awarded a silver medal. In the 2022 Summer Deaflympics, she won gold, silver, and bronze medals. For 21 years, Malaysians hadn’t won a gold medal in badminton Deaflympics until she brought home the gold.
Wei Ying fits in her training for badminton in after work and during the days she has off. Her typical day starts with working 9 am to 6 pm. Then she finishes her evening by training from 7 pm to 9 pm. Wei Ying is grateful for her friends and family. From treating her to delicious food after a tournament to giving her words of affirmation, she feels uplifted by those in her life. “They always support me unconditionally, especially whenever I lack confidence,” she says. “They will talk to me, motivate, and encourage me.”
A graduate of the University of Malaya, Wei Ying earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science. In her spare time, she likes to watch television or movies. Unsurprisingly, her absolute favorite hobby to participate in is badminton, which she plays with her family and friends.
Wei Ying’s story of hearing loss begins in high school when she was close to 15 years of age. Her teacher recognized she was lacking full attention in class and wasn’t answering when asked a question. This sparked the teacher to be curious if something was up. Wei Ying’s family noticed similar trends at home. That prodded her father to recommend a hearing evaluation. This is when they found out Wei Ying had hearing loss and needed hearing aids.
As a young adult who learned about her recent onset of hearing loss, Wei Ying had to find self-acceptance. “At the beginning, I was very reluctant to tell my friends that I was diagnosed with hearing loss, worrying that they would unfriend or discriminate against me,” she says. “Fortunately, they accepted it, motivate and encourage me a lot, which I think that helped me a lot.” It helps that her family and friends were patient when she asked them to repeat things.
Wei Ying has upheld a positive perspective in life that encourages others to succeed. “I’ve learned that we must appreciate what we have in our life, and we should not give up easily on any challenges,” she says. “Besides, the support and encouragement from people around us plays a very important role in helping us to overcome any challenges.”
Abigail Russell is a second-year medical school student at Indiana University School of Medicine. She is a bilateral hearing technology user, utilizing both a Phonak Naída and Cochlear Implant. Ever since she was diagnosed as a little girl, she has been an advocate for those with hearing loss. She loves spending time with people, enjoys coffee, and cuddles with her puppy, Rosie!
When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.