Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling made history for his nation at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by winning its first-ever Olympic swimming gold medal. Schooling beat out the world’s best, including 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, to stand atop the podium in the men’s 100m butterfly, also while clocking the swiftest mark ever registered in a textile suit.
For his efforts, Schooling has been praised by swimming and sports enthusiasts both near and far, but no one has exuded more pride and excitement at their hero than the people of Singapore. Immediately after the Olympic Games’ conclusion, Schooling was shuttled around key metropolitan areas of Singapore in a parade honoring the swimmer. He and his parents met important government officials, including the nation’s Prime Minister, while also being honored with a ‘National Day’ recognition.
For his gold medal-garnering performance, Schooling was also awarded an honorary membership of Singapore Island Country Club, given free flights for life by AirAsia, as well as cashed in on the biggest Olympic bonus in the world – $753,000 – from his home country
Continuing on the trend of recognizing Schooling’s insurmountable influence, an interactive in-commuter-train display has been launched in his honor by SMRT Corporation, The X Collective and The Schooling Effect. The latter is a ‘movement that aims to inspire and provide opportunities for people to dream’, according to its mission.
The ‘Hello, My Name Is Joseph Schooling‘ concept train aims at inspiring Singaporean children to set goals and follow their dreams. Said May Schooling, Joseph’s mother, at the presentation ceremony unveiling the train this week, “What we want is for Joseph to inspire kids and to give hope to Singaporeans as well.
“Right now wherever we go, people have been very nice, everybody stops and says, ‘Thank you for bringing up Joseph’ and I say, ‘Well, he did it for Singapore.’ So hopefully this will gel Singapore together and take sports to another level, which I believe we can.”
The launch event, attended by Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin, showcased the operable train’s three sections, all featuring the 21-year-old swimmer. Per The Straits Times,
- The Pledge Cabin features pledges that were shared online as part of The Schooling Effect’s initiative to encourage people to dare to dream.
- The Book Cabin documents Schooling’s journey as captured by photographer Alvin Toh.
- The Exhibition Cabin features images of limited prints that are available for sale. Each print is signed and numbered by Toh and Schooling.
Colin Schooling, Joseph’s father, commented to the 60-strong crowd in attendance, “As Joseph’s father, I pray and hope that it inspires our youngsters and future generation (to realise) that what has been achieved to put us on the world platform is not an impossible dream.”
The concept train will run on the SMRT Circle Line until Dec 8th of this year.