Vien won 8 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medal and broke 8 SEA Games records. She has become one of Vietnam’s most prominent athletes.
19-year-old swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien entered Sea Games history with 8 gold medals at a single tournament.
Colonel Bui Duc Nghi, Director of the National Defense Sports and Physical Education Center of Military Zone 9, said he was moved and proud each time he saw Vien win a gold medal.
“Nguyen Thi Anh Vien was one of the names most mentioned by the media of Singapore and other countries in the region. She made the headlines in many newspapers with her impressive performance. I’m proud of what she has done for Vietnam,” Nghi stressed.
Vien’s achievements have brought joy to people in Ba Cao hamlet, Giai Xuan commune, Can Tho city, her home town. Each time she won a medal, they made phone calls and sent messages to congratulate Vien’s family.
Vien’s grandmother said, “I was nervous watching her compete. I’m overjoyed with her achievements and I thank our neighbors and teachers for educating her.”
Vien’s house fronts on the Ba Cau canal, a tributary of the Can Tho river so her parents were very worried that their children would fall in the river.
Vien fell in once when she was 3 years old. She was taught to swim by her grandfather and quickly outclassed her peers.
Vien’s passion for swimming grew as she grew and she participated in many competitions at school and at the district level. With her talent, Vien was recruited by the National Defense Sports and Physical Education Center of Military Zone 9.
Lieutenant Vo Thanh Binh was the first to recognize Vien’s talent at the 2007 Phu Dong National Sports Competition. Binh said despite her frequent training in the US, Vien often requests his advice via the Internet.
“I’m proud and happy to have a wonderful student. I encourage my students to take Viện as an example to follow,” Bình noted.
Singapore’s Straight Times put Vien on its list of the 10 athletes with most impressive moments at Sea Games 28.
The Southeast Asian media called her “Iron girl” and “Vietnam’s new queen of the pool”. But in the eyes of her parents and friends, Vien is just an open-minded, sociable girl, typical of people in Vietnam’s southwestern region.