Against all odds: Malaysian Paralympian's inspiring story of grit and determination

Lim (centre) with the silver and bronze medalists in the 2017 SEA Games hand cycling race.

Step into the world of Alvin Lim, a standout figure in the local Paralympic archery scene, whose journey is nothing short of extraordinary.

Before making waves in archery, Alvin dazzled the world in 2017 at the SEA Games Paralympics, clinching two glorious gold medals in the electrifying handcycling road race and time trials.

His foray into handcycling was initially a personal crusade against his smoking and drinking habits, but fate had grander plans.

A national coach spotted his undeniable talent, setting him on a path to sporting greatness.

In a dramatic turn, Alvin emerged as a surprise contender at a Paralympic handcycling competition in Singapore.

His astounding performance against seasoned athletes captured the audience’s awe and secured him a coveted spot at the SEA Games, where he was a crowd favourite.

Recently, at the National Paralympics archery circuit at the MSN sports complex in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Alvin added a bronze medal to his haul, winning the Men’s Compound Bow division.

A jubilant Lim crossing the finishing line at a road race in Putrajaya during the 2017 SEA Games.A jubilant Lim crossing the finishing line at a road race in Putrajaya during the 2017 SEA Games.

Despite having just three weeks to prepare due to a shoulder injury, Alvin’s resilience and determination shone through.

His journey to recovery involved the expertise of his aunt, a sports injury specialist, whose guidance was instrumental in his return to form.

At age 48, Alvin’s journey to the podium is a tribute to his unyielding spirit.

Competing against the nation’s elite wheelchair archers, he clinched the third spot, a moment he describes as unforgettable and the culmination of his hard work and dedication.

Alvin’s archery story began in 2019 at the National Paralympics Centre in Kg Pandan, Kuala Lumpur.

During lunch breaks, he mingled with wheelchair archers and met Tan Peng Loon, the national archery team coach.

Their shared passion for cycling and archery blossomed into a mentorship.

Lim taking aim during practice at the range.Lim taking aim during practice at the range.

Alvin’s archery journey started with a second-hand compound bow from Tan, marking the beginning of his exploration into the sport.

The Covid-19 pandemic lockdown allowed Alvin to train at home, laying the foundation for his future achievements.

With Coach Tan’s encouragement, Alvin began participating in local competitions. After a shift from handcycling, he became a formidable wheelchair archer, training rigorously at the PPOC range in Petaling Jaya.

Alvin’s passion for tinkering drove him to immerse himself in the intricate mechanics of his sport.

He now wields a compound bow from MYBO, a UK company offering support to disabled archers.

The free-spirited archer is entirely independent, seen here collecting his arrows after sending them downrange.The free-spirited archer is entirely independent, seen here collecting his arrows after sending them downrange.

His training regime is intense; he spends five hours at the range, often in solitude, perfecting his skill.

Alvin’s life took a dramatic turn 23 years ago following a severe spinal injury from a motorcycle accident.

Before this, he was soaring the skies as an air steward with Singapore Airlines. His resilience saw him transition into the automotive industry as a car salesman for over a decade.

Today, Alvin’s story stands as a pillar of motivation.

His achievements in handcycling and archery are a testament to his unwavering spirit. His eyes are set on the prize, aiming to join the national team, proving that determination and hard work can turn dreams into reality.

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StarExtra , Outdoors , archery


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