Arumugam Vijiaratnam has the rare, possibly unique, distinction of having played four past or present Olympic team sports on an international level. In addition to his appearance for the Singapore hockey team at the 1956 Summer Olympics he also represented his country at football, rugby and cricket. His sporting career was hampered by World War II and the Japanese occupation of Singapore but once hostilities were over he soon made a name for himself, first as a footballer and then as both a cricketer and rugby player for the Singapore national team in matches against Malaya.
Vijiaratnam left his native country and studied engineering in England at the start of the 1950s before returning home to take up a post with the Port of Singapore Authority. A recurring thigh injury forced a switch from the football pitch to the hockey field and he soon found himself included as a centre-forward for Singaporeâs pre-Olympic tour of Indonesia. A series of impressive displays meant that he was included on the Olympic roster and scored in their opening game against the USA. He spent 40 years as an engineer working for the Singapore government then served for over a decade as chancellor of Nanyang Technological University.