Siobhan Haughey won Tokyo Olympic silver - her story

Siobhan Haughey won Tokyo Olympic silver when she competed in the women’s 200-metre freestyle final this morning. Her success also marks the first time a Hong Kong swimmer has reached an Olympic final.

She’s been swimming since she was a toddler

Haughey’s parents, who also loved swimming, taught their two daughters how to swim at the pool at their home complex, before later taking Siobhan and her older sister Aisling to a swim club nearby.

She’s got the tattoo

It’s probably the only tattoo that tiger mums would allow and, according to Haughey, it’s the only one she’d ever get.

The iconic tattoo of the Olympic rings is considered a rite of passage for many Olympians, including archer Brady Ellison, gymnast Vanessa Ferrari and diver Tom Daley – who Haughey has also met.

When she first got her tattoo in 2016 after qualifying for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, she wrote on Instagram: “When I look back, I’ll remember the hard work, struggles, sacrifices and successes. But that won’t stop me from moving forward. She’s a St. Paul’s and UMich alum

Haughey studied at both St. Paul’s College Primary School and St. Paul’s Secondary School in Hong Kong, before continuing her tertiary education stateside at the University of Michigan.

Why she chose to study in USA and University of Michigan

Siobhan Haughey, "I was interested in studying in the U.S. and started doing some research on potential schools. One of the former swimmers here told me about University of Michigan and gave the coaches my email address. We started talking and they gave me a lot of information about Michigan and I discovered I really like it here. I had the opportunity to Skype with the team, and after having that Skype call, I felt like I fit really well with them and I committed that same day." 

She’s got a global support network

The 23-year-old continued her swimming training at Michigan even after she graduated. Due to Covid-19 lockdowns in the US, Haughey only returned to Hong Kong in June last year, but her UMich coach continued to train her via workouts conveyed to the swim department at the Hong Kong Sports Institute.

The Sports Institute’s head swimming coach Chen Jianhong has previously thanked his American counterpart for the support. “With so many coaching staff working together at the Sports Institute, it can definitely have a good effect,” Chen said in May – and it’s clear from today’s performance his prediction was not unfounded.



Sources: SCMP, UMich's website