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Four Time Olympian Dives Into F-Team

17 August 2018

Leong Mun Yee
Four Time Olympian Leong Mun Yee is an F-Teamer!

With four Olympics under her belt and too many medals to count Malaysia's Leong Mun Yee is unquestionably a legend in the pool. After starting diving at the tender age of 10 she has gone on to represent her country at every diving event you can think of! A recent sign up to our Funkita F-Team, we had a chat to her about her achievements so far and what she's looking forward to in the future.

Leong Mun Yee
Leong Mun Yee preparing for her fifth Asian Games

What got you started in diving?

I was scouted by a coach at the Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh Swimming Complex when I was 10 years old. From the beginning we started training as early as 5:30am.

What made you switch from swimming to diving?

I started diving just for the fun of it and was one of the pioneers of the sport in Malaysia as it was very new there at the time.

When did you start to dream of going to the Olympics?

As soon as I started. When I first joined the sport it was very common for every athlete to dream of competing at the Olympics.

You have competed in four Olympic Games. Which was the most memorable and why?

Each Olympics is memorable in their own way but if I had to choose one, it will be Sydney 2000 as it was my first Olympic Games.

For you, what is your greatest achievement in your career so far?

My greatest achievement is my bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, it was the first World Championship medal for Malaysia.

What is the most memorable location you have dived in, whether for competition or leisure?

The most memorable location is Rome, where I won my World Championship bronze medal.

What does a typical training day look like for you?

I train from Monday to Saturdays, morning and afternoon. My morning sessions start at 8:30am and go until 12:00pm, unless I have university classes then I finish a little earlier. My afternoon sessions run from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

Was it a hard transition to go from life at home to move your training to where you are now?

It was hard at first, I left home at 10 years old to stay in a hostel where I had to train, study and take care of myself in ways I hadn't before. I had to grow up quickly and learn to be independent from a very early age.

When you spend a long time away from home, what do you look forward to on your return?

I really enjoy spending time at home with my family, so I look forward to seeing them again. I also always miss the fresh air and the great food in Ipoh.

How has the popularity of diving in Malaysia changed since you've been involved with the sport?

When I first started, diving was new in Malaysia and not popular at all. Over the years its popularity and recognition has grown to the point where there is now a medal prospect at every international competition.

What does life after diving look like for you?

At the start of the year, I started a café business in the sports city compound near my training centre so I'd like to work on that. I am also planning on starting my own diving academy or potentially doing some sports broadcasting given that I majored in broadcasting in my Bachelor degree and am currently working on my Masters in corporate communication.

What advice do you have for young divers hoping to emulate a successful career in and out of the pool like yours?

My advice for divers and any other athlete is to work hard, dream big and never give up in the face of a challenge.

What do you like about Funkita bathers and which is your favourite style?

I have always been fan of colourful things because they make me happy and attract attention, so Funkita is perfect for that! My favourite Funkita style is the Strapped In One Piece.

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

I'm definitely a dog person. I have an Alaskan Malamute called Mimi at home.

If you got a day free to yourself, how would you spend the day and where?

If I have a free day I spend the day in my hometown Ipoh with my family, loved ones and Mimi.

If you could live in any of the cities that you've travelled to, where would you live?

I would live in Ipoh because there's nowhere like home.

Leong Mun Yee
Leong Mun Yee after a long session in her Funkitas!

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