19-yr-old swimmer, an Olympic hopeful, reaps big rewards for 10 SEA Games medals

By Lan Phuong - Gia Bao, Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Thi Anh Vien has won eight gold medals and broken eight records at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. Photo: Kha Hoa Nguyen Thi Anh Vien has won eight gold medals and broken eight records at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. Photo: Kha Hoa

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After winning 10 medals, including eight golds, at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien will receive record rewards from the government. 
The 19-year-old swimmer from the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho is set for rewards of VND485 million (US$22,250) from the General Department of Sports for the medals. For each of her gold medal, Vien will be given a motorbike, a TV and a smartphone. 
She will also receive VND120 million for breaking eight records at the event. 
Le Hung Manh, chairman of the real estate company Gia Hoa in Ho Chi Minh City, has pledged to grant Vien an apartment, valued at more than VND1 billion. A swimming pool in Gia Hoa Art Village in the city and a swimming fund will be named after the young swimmer. 
Low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific has rewarded Vien and her coach unlimited free flights for two years.
Hailing from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, Vien was taught to swim by grandfather at 3 years old in a muddy canal, after she came home one day and said that she had almost drowned. 
She was introduced to the national team when she was 14. 
Vien and her coach Dang Anh Tuan moved to Florida four years ago to train and compete against the best young swimmers in the US.
Despite her achievements at SEA Games 2015, Vien said she does not think much of her good results.
“Many swimmers are much better than me. I will have to try harder every day as if I had not won any medals.
“I hope I can win an Olympic medal,” she said.
It seems like the record haul of rewards from the government for her new medals is not what she wants the most.
“Now I just want to reward myself a deep sleep,” she told the media after the swimming competitions concluded.

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