“When I’m on the water – be it for wakeboarding or waterskiing – I feel like a completely different person. Nothing can compare to the kind of focus that goes into it. I also like how both sports are just so progressive; there’s always something more to learn on the water.
I started wakeboarding and waterskiing when I was five. My mom was an avid waterskier, so she would always bring me down to the water. But I didn’t really get into either of it till I was 11. Maybe I grew confident with age, but that’s when I started competing as well.
Everything happened so fast when I stepped into the competitive scene. I didn’t even have time to think when people told me to compete. I never questioned authority, and I was never nervous about competing because I was so young; I was just enjoying the journey.
Challenges? I fractured my tibia after I came back from a training stint in Florida last year. I attempted a Toe Side 540 Spin and I basically landed awkwardly. It’s a trick I’ve always done, but sometimes things just don’t go according to plan.
The doctor said the recovery process would take three months, but it eventually turned into a seven-month layoff. It got a bit frustrating because I missed being on the water so much, but I’ve dealt with injuries before, so I think I managed my mental state pretty well.
I think losing my father to cancer two days after the last SEA Games was a very confusing and difficult time for me. He came down to Singapore from Australia to see me compete, but he flew back home a week before the SEA Games because his condition got critical.
I was shocked. He put on a brave front and told me everything was okay the whole time because he didn’t want me distracted from my training. Right after my events, my mom told him my results straight away, and I’m glad I made him proud.
This upcoming SEA Games, there’s obviously that expectation for me to defend my gold medals, but I’m not letting external factors distract me from what I need to do. I’m going to give it my all, and I’ll let the results reflect my performance. If it all works out, great.
To all the people who have been supporting me and the other athletes, I really appreciate it. It makes it more meaningful when you’re not just representing yourself but also your nation and people, so thank you very much.” – Sasha Christian, 24
Interview by: Arman Shah