Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
This 67-year-old Catholic nun has become a taekwondo world champion after scooping a gold medal for her martial arts skills.
Sister Linda Sim – from Singapore – may be just 4ft 11ins tall but she told how the title made her feel “on top of the world.”
She told local media: “I have always been petite and small-framed. If I can run and kick, I don’t have to carry a weapon to defend myself.”
Sister Linda – who has been studying the Korean martial art for decades – took the seniors gold medal at the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championship, in Goyang, South Korea.
Poomsae are where a competitor has to show their skill to defeat a series of imaginary opponents.
She became part of a Catholic religious order the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood more than 40 years ago but sees no conflict between religion and Taekwondo.
She explained: “Jesus is my first love and taekwondo is my passion because it gives me an opportunity to meet with lots of people in a non-churchy way.”
She added: “Religious life is a vocation, a lifetime calling to a way of life.
“As a coordinator, my main job is coordinating between our mother house and our central leadership team in Surrey, England, ensuring the life and mission of our sisters in Singapore. There are 21 of us.”
The sister explained that she started practising taekwondo when she was 17 years old at a church, where they hosted a martial arts class and quickly became “fascinated”.
She began taking part in international competitions in 2011, taking a bronze medal in 2018. She has now become the first Singaporean to take the gold.
Speaking about her accomplishment in April, she said: “It doesn’t matter whether I am 67 or seven, standing at the podium in the gold medal position, I just felt on top of the world.”
She said that her practice of the martial art does not contradict her religious beliefs because she practices it in a way in which she would only ever use it to defend and not to attack.