Joseph Schooling Awarded Free Flights For Life By AirAsia

Following his gold medal performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Joseph Schooling has been awarded free flights for life by AirAsia. The airline has offered a lifetime supply of free flights to all Rio Olympic gold medalists from Asia.

AirAsia has also awarded the ASEAN (Southeast Asian) silver and bronze medalists from the Games, giving them free flights for 5 years if they won silver and 3 years if they won bronze. By awarding the ASEAN medal winners, the airline hopes to encourage other athletes to follow in their footsteps.

In Rio, Schooling became the first ever Singaporean athlete to win a gold medal in any sport at an Olympics. He raced to a 50.39 in the 100 meter fly, beating out butterfly powerhouses Michael Phelps, Chad Le Clos, and Laszlo Cseh, who all tied for silver behind him. Schooling’s time was the fastest textile swim in history.

In addition to his gold medal and free flights, Schooling’s swim also earned him the biggest gold medal bonus in the world. Singapore is one of many countries that gave their athletes a financial bonus for winning Olympic medals, offering $753,000 dollars to any athlete who won gold.

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Brian Goodell
7 years ago

Wow. I was born just a little too soon!

7 years ago

What’s to stop any airline from offering all NCAA medal winners free flights for, starting at the time of their choosing?

Jon Snow
7 years ago

It’s not ASIAN medalists, it’s ASEAN.

7 years ago

Ah, another of life’s great ironies… the richer you are, the more free stuff you get.

7 years ago

Probably the only way he will go back there post swimming. I wonder if the U.S. will try to collect tax from him like they will the U.S. medalists because all of his preparation was in the U.S.?

team Rwanda
Reply to  swimmy
7 years ago

What!? So if a foreign student goes to school in the US, and gets a good job back in their country because of the US degree, would they also go back to pay US taxes?

Reply to  swimmy
7 years ago

You have to pay tax on the award money?

Jon Snow
Reply to  Liam
7 years ago


Reply to  swimmy
7 years ago

If he is a PR, yes. I am, had to pay a lot of tax for my compensation money that i made out of US. Welcome to America

Joel Lin
7 years ago

Not an NCAA violation so long as he does not take consideration while still an NCAA athlete. If he pays for his own flights while at Texas, no issue.

Pennsylvania Tuxedo
Reply to  Joel Lin
7 years ago

I agree, 100% sure its not a violation as long as he does not accept a free flight while an NCAA athlete. He can start accepting free flights 15 minutes after his eligibility is exhausted.

Right now, he gets all the perks of being an NCAA athlete, plus a hero in his home country, AND 750k that he gets to keep even while being an NCAA athlete. Sweet deal.

Steve Nolan
7 years ago

AirAsia is the most low-budget airline I’ve ever flown on. But hey, free is a pretty good deal.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
7 years ago

What about first class ?

Reply to  fly100
7 years ago

No first class on those cheap flights LOL

7 years ago

Schooling should finish his NCAA swimming if he can’t accept all this stuff.
I’m not American, so excuse this potentially dumb comment, but I’m assuming he can stay at Texas and finish his degree if he did.
If he can he should stay swimming for Texas, but realistically he’s already NCAA champ, Olympic champ, Asian champ, fastest man ever in textile, these huge sums of money seem to good to be true to give up. $753,000, how many people even make that in a lifetime.
In the next two years, world and commonwealth champ are probably going to happen as well.

Reply to  Skoorbnagol
7 years ago

He can accept the award money from the Singaporean government, but I’m not sure if he can accept the free flights from a company

Reply to  Skoorbnagol
7 years ago

My understanding is he can accept the prize money from his swimming federation/country in the same way American athletes can take their prizes. It just so happens his is a lot more.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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