Ankle Fracture "The Break I Never Thought I Really Needed" : Singapore Marathoner Yvonne Chee

Battling back from a serious ankle injury that disrupted her SEA Games qualification journey, Singapore marathoner Yvonne Chee shares her new-found insights about running

Yvonne Chee running along the Kallang riverside. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

She calls it "the break (fracture) that I never thought I really needed".

In April 2021, Singapore marathoner Yvonne Elizabeth Chee suffered a spiral fracture to her right ankle in the midst of her SEA Games qualification journey, an incident which left her with seven screws and a metal plate in her ankle till today.

Yvonne Chee shares about her running story, and the journey back from injury with host Cheryl Tay in this episode of Sport+ Stories.

It was a heart-breaking moment for Chee, who up till then was enjoying a rise to prominence and upward trajectory in her running journey.

As reality sunk in and her world came crashing down, the road ahead looked bleak. Being the fierce competitor that she is though Chee refused to give up, and instead became laser focused on her rehabilitation journey.

Surgery scar marks on Yvonne Chee's right ankle. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

The Journey Back

A type-A person, Chee has always been goal-oriented, and she was determined to get back to doing what she loved most - running.

There was one thing that had changed her though through her injury. She no longer sees running as her top priority in life.

Yvonne Chee once ran 7 marathons in 7 continents between 2008 and 2013. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

"Running is a passion still, but in the past, running used to be my top priority especially in 2019. Everything else had to fit around running," she shared.

These days Chee focuses a lot more on her kids, and now tries to fit running around her family life instead.

7 months after her fracture, Chee was invited by Great Eastern and Singapore Sports Hub to participate in the elites' half marathon at the Great Eastern Women's Run in November 2021, the first running event to be back since the pandemic began.

She completed it in an impressive time of 1 hour 43 minutes without issues, to signal a remarkable return to running.

It may have taken a serious injury and a pandemic to help Chee come to the realisation of what matters most to her, but running will always remain an important part of her life.

Proof that Yvonne Chee hates being on camera and is an awkward interviewee in our between-the-scenes footage here on Studio Plus!

Running Journey

From her first marathon in Brussels, Belgium, to running seven marathons in seven continents between 2008 and 2013, her national call-up in 2017, clinching third place overall in the 2018 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon one year post-partum, and fifth overall (3rd in Masters Category) at the 2019 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon; hers is a truly remarkable and unforgettable journey.

So what does she hope to get out of running from here on?

Chee said: "At the end of the day, we are not professionals. Family is important, we all have a full time job. I try to tell myself not to take myself so seriously. Yes, we all want to do our best, but don't forget to have fun."

Yvonne Chee running along the Kallang riverside. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

"It was a break (fracture) I never thought I really needed. A break away from bad habits, and a break away from the comfort zone I was in to get to where I am now. I am in a good place now."

Who knows? You might just spot Yvonne out there running in her bright pink gear one of these days.

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