28 Jun Bryce Chong – the man, athlete, (soon to be) husband
Bryce Chong has been a recognisable face in Singapore’s triathlon scene for many years. As the 2022 MetaSprint Series Aquathlon and Triathlon champion, we have enjoyed watching him race and welcomed him to many podium ceremonies. He was also part of the 2022 Super League Arena Games in Singapore where he raced the world’s best, finishing as the highest-ranked local athlete.
He has just had an experience of a lifetime at the South-East Asian Games in Cambodia, where he won a bronze medal in the men’s aquathlon, and came fifth in the men’s triathlon. And if the adrenalin wasn’t already high, he then followed it up with a proposal to his long-time girlfriend Sheryl Foo on Kep Beach.
We took some time out to hear from Bryce about racing, life, and the next steps.
Cambodia was a trip to remember for many reasons. Is it true that you were more stressed about the proposal than your races?
I wouldn’t say that the proposal was the most stressful part, but I think the process leading up to it, especially putting up my best performance during my races were more important to make the occasion a lot more special.
The team spirit is obviously high in Team Singapore – you even asked them to come and watch your proposal. Why did you want to propose surrounded by your teammates?
We, as a triathlon community in Singapore, are already very small and I feel that occasions like this strengthen the bond by sharing the unique experience with my teammates. Spreading our love and joy as always.
I hear Sheryl is also a triathlete, so does that make her more understanding when you come home from training tired and hungry?
Sheryl doesn’t do triathlons, but she does recreational runs and occasional workouts with friends and family. So, it definitely took her a little bit of time to get used to the lifestyle that I had, but on my part I tried to explain it to her when she asks me about certain stuff that I go through. She has been supportive through my sporting journey.
When did you realise she was the “one”?
We have been together for almost 7 years, and I am sure that not many people are willing to stick around for that long , especially with the kind of pathway that I am on. So, she is definitely a person that is very hard to come by.
At what age did you start triathlon?
At the age of 14
Has there been any one person who has inspired and motivated you during your triathlon journey?
I would say I look up to a lot of professional triathletes around the world but I would say my mum would be the person. Because through thick or thin, she never fails to be there to encourage me, talk to me and be there for me.
Is there any of the three disciplines that you like the most?
I quite like cycling because of the scenery outside and it’s not as boring.
Which discipline have you had to work the hardest on?
The run has always been one of my weakest.
What’s your proudest achievement in your triathlon career?
There are a few but I think the biggest one would be the one I qualified for YOG back in 2014.
Have you had any race day “fails” that you can look back on now and laugh?
There were definitely plenty, especially my first few triathlon races when I was younger.
The biggest race day fail for me was when I participated in my third triathlon. I cycled with the helmet the wrong way around, and also ran out of transition on to the run course with my helmet still on.
What was your ideal “rest day” when you were training? (ie. what would you do?)
It would probably be a good sleep in, maybe a little easy aerobic workout with some teammates and followed by a sports massage or some recovery therapy to end off the day.
What is your favourite pre-race meal?
Either pizza or pasta
Which race location (anywhere in the world) was your favourite and why?
I would say Japan, because the organisation of the race is always pretty spot on and also after the race I can always look forward to good food like sushi.
You mentioned taking a break from the sport, and focusing on your sport massage career. Are you excited to take this next step?
Yeah definitely, I am not totally stopping but I am just prioritising my career first as of now.
Will you still head out for a Sunday ride? Maybe with a longer coffee stop?
For sure always love my coffee stops and hanging out with teammates.
Will we see you at a MetaSport event again? Even if it’s not in the “Elite” wave?
For sure. Might still take part in the elite race just to have some friendly competition with the rest of the triathlon community.
Athletes like Bryce Chong play an essential role in promoting sports and motivating others to pursue their passions. By showcasing their skills and dedication, they encourage aspiring athletes to follow in their footsteps and strive for excellence. It’s wonderful to see individuals making a positive impact in their respective fields and inspiring others along the way. We applaud Bryce Chong for his dedication, hard work, and achievements in the triathlon world. We wish Bryce all the best in chasing his dreams and will constantly look out to see him toe the MetaSprint Series start line again.
Link to Straits Times article: https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/sea-games-she-said-yes-proposal-perfect-ending-to-triathlete-bryce-chong-s-outing