Hi Ryan! When and how did you start sailing?

I started sailing at the age of 7, mostly due to the fact that my siblings were sailors at that point in time. I decided to pick up the sport out of curiosity.


What were some of the best memories of your early regattas?

I think I was about 10 years old when I went for my first overseas competition. It was a whole new experience for me and coming away with a Bronze medal at the Asian Sailing Championship was pretty sweet too.


How has intensive/overseas training affected your studies?

Most of my time are spent sailing or training in the gym. For that reason, I have less time for my studies. I will do my best to listen in lectures, and ask when in doubt. I will find any free time I have to study and catch up on my work.

I would normally stay back for extra classes with my teachers whenever I’m behind on lectures and tutorials due to overseas competitions/ trainings.


How you use your weekends to train or catch up with school work?

Weekends were really important as I could sail and train longer on those days, compared to the weekdays. While most of my friends were enjoying their weekends with their friends or catching up on school work, I was on the water or in the gym training.

It didn’t bother me that much as I  believe that everyone has their own purpose in life. As for me, it is sailing. If training whenever I can will help me become a better sailor, then I will do it.


What does it meant to you to qualify for the Asian Games?

It means a lot to me to qualify for the Asian Games. It is such a prestigious event that comes only once in 4 years where the best of Asia compete with one another. It will definitely be a stepping stone towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, providing a platform for me to showcase my progress over the past few months.


What has been the most challenging part about getting to the Asian Games?

The most challenging part about getting into the Asian Games would be training and competing while fulfilling my National Service duties. It has been a challenge balancing both my NS and sporting commitments as time is a limiting factor. Having to go train at the gym right after camp in the night, and then wake up early the next morning has definitely been physically and mentally tiring. But with the support of my family and my sports science team, I managed to accomplish my goals in the lead up to the Asian Games.


Does determination help your sailing?

Sailing is a very physical and mental sport especially for my class of boat (laser standard). The top sailors in my class only manage to get to the top after years and years of training on water, in the gym, consultation with the nutritionist and psychologist, and many others. Being determined to continue to push hard even though I cannot visibly see the results of my hard work has been the key to my progress in this sport.


What does sailing teach you about learning to lose?

Sailing, like any other sport, involves both winning and losing. It will be very difficult for you to reach the top without losing or failing many times before that. I believe losing is very important; only making mistakes and learning from them can you improve. Accepting failure and loss can only make you stronger and more focused and determined to try again and outperform yourself.


I am sure that you have experienced failure before. How did you bounce back from it?

I remember in Palma in 2015. It was my first big event in the laser standard class and I had a really bad qualifying series and ended up in the bronze fleet. I remember being really disappointed and frustrated with myself as it was my first time in a bronze fleet in my sailing career. That served as a great lesson for me, providing me with more motivation and ambition to continue to train hard and slowly climb my way up to the top. That regatta was one of the most unforgettable highlights of my sailing career and the takeaways from it continue to assist me in dealing with the challenges that I encounter in my sailing journey.


What does success mean to you?

Success to me means accomplishing whatever you set out to achieve, be it winning medals or consistently making an effort to be kind to others. Success to me can be anything; it does not solely revolve around winning.

The little accomplishments on a daily basis like making sure that I go to the gym on certain days and cardio on other days count as successes to me. As I set my mind on attaining a certain goal or objective, I will definitely do my best to see through it all the way no matter outcome. Success could also be applied to areas outside of sailing, like my job in the army. Whatever task that is given to me, I will make a conscious effort in ensuring that I complete it no matter how long it takes. The intangible aspects of achieving success like the values that drive one to achieve greater things ultimately provide an indescribable sense of happiness and accomplishment.


What legacy would you like to leave in this world?

I want to be remembered as a great sailor and also a great person. Not only excelling in my sport in terms of medals or trophies, but also in terms of my character and the impression I leave on others. I would like to be known for being a kind and friendly person who would always lend a helping hand to others. Displaying sportsmanship,  having respect for others, and having a sense of integrity are examples of values that i strive to achieve on a consistent basis. Ultimately, I want to remember myself as a person who gave it his all to achieve his goals without having any regrets.


Read more about Ryan!

12-year-old Singaporeans win fourth medal in a row for nation at Optimist World Sailing Championship in Brazil – Red Sports, 13 Aug 2009
Sailor Lo targets two golds at SEA Games – The New Paper, 03 Aug 2017
SEA Games: First sailing gold for Singapore as men’s laser standard trio beat Malaysia – Straits Times, 22 Aug 2017
SEA Games: Ryan Lo, Bernie Chin and Mark Wong win S’pore’s first sailing gold – Today Online, 22 Aug 2017
SEA Games: Lo keeps Singapore’s flag flying high – Straits Times, 29 Aug 2017
SEA Games: Singapore sailing pair strike gold in laser events – Today Online, 30 Aug 2017
NSF Ryan Lo delivers on promise of winning two sailing golds – The New Paper, 30 Aug 2017
Sailing: Ryan Lo puts degree on hold as he aims for 2024 Olympic gold – Straits Times, 31 Jan 2018