Wedding bells are ringing for Singapore’s most decorated swimmer, 31-
year-old Joscelin Yeo.
The former national swimmer will marry her boyfriend of three years,
Joseph Purcell, in HortPark on July 9 this year.
Mr Purcell, 27, who relocated to Singapore from the US in 2004, is an
assistant pastor at New Creation Church. Miss Yeo works with the
The three-time Sportswoman of the Year told The Straits Times last
year that she and Mr Purcell have “similar values which is really
important to me.”
“We click… We just really enjoy each other,” the star swimmer said of
Mr Purcell, who has three siblings, moved to Singapore with his family
6 years ago from Oklahoma. His parents, Joseph and Mary Purcell, are
directors of the Rhema Bible Training Centre in Singapore.
Miss Yeo hopes to have three children as her parents did because of
the close relationship she shares with her two brothers, Leonard, 32
and Gerard, 30. Like Joscelin, both her siblings were star athletes.
Leonard was a former national swimmer and water polo player, while
Gerard was the country’s top triathlete in the 1990s.
While the former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) avoids talking
to the media about her relationship, she appears more open about it
online, posting photos of both of them on her Facebook and Twitter
The swimming champ told The Straits Times that she took on the
challenge of being an NMP because she felt she could contribute to
sports in Singapore.
“There was an opportunity and it’s something I see as an honour. If we
want to be a top sporting nation we need a change in mindsets. We need
people to see the value of sports and we need to allow people to enjoy
sports so that more will get involved,” she told the paper last year.
Miss Yeo, the country’s most celebrated sportswoman, was the only
Singaporean to ever compete in four Olympic Games, starting with
Barcelona in 1992. This was just two years after the then 11-year-old
competed at the Beijing Asian Games.
By the end of her 17-year swimming career three years ago, she had
bagged a staggering 40 gold medals at the Southeast Asia Games.
Graduating from the University of Texas with honours in kinesiology
and health education in 2003, she now works full-time in the New
Creation Church’s youth ministry.
After blazing a trail of glory in Singapore’s sporting history and
even dabbling briefly in local politics, a walk down the aisle is the
icing on the cake for this swim queen.