A multiple-time gold medalist representing Singapore in swimming, May Ooi is a former Olympian, having competed at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. However, two pivotal moments would change her life forever, and transform the elite swimmer into a dedicated martial artist.
First was an encounter with capoeira in 2007 while she was in Brazil. Enthralled by the beauty and athleticism of the Brazilian art, she began training with a coach who also happened to be a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. That was where she became inspired to learn, progress, and evolve, and committed herself to both capoeira and BJJ with the same tenacity as she did with swimming.
After Muay Thai and boxing into her arsenal, she met BJJ legend Royler Gracie, who recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue a professional career. That was the final push she needed, and she made her debut in 2014. Now competing under the bright lights of ONE Championship, her experience with elite competition and the lifetime of discipline it ingrained in her should serve her well as she faces the best martial artists in the world.
When she’s not proving her skills as a martial artist on the global stage, May runs her own Capoeira school for kids. Most recently, she represented Singapore in the Asian Games in Jakarta in Jiu-Jitsu.