Joseph Schooling made history earlier this month as he became the first person to win The Straits Times Singapore Athlete of the Year award twice.
Schooling was the highlight of Singapore’s 2016 Olympic Games when he won the nation’s first Olympic gold by winning the 100m butterfly.
The University of Texas swimmer also became the first to win the Straits Times Athlete of the Year award with a unanimous vote. This year’s other nominees included Yip Pin Xiu (swimming), Peter Gilchrist (billiards), New Hui Fen (bowling) and Sheik Farhan Sheik Alau’ddin (silat).
Schooling, who joined the ceremony via Skype, said “I am very fortunate to win this award. I couldn’t have done it without my parents, close friends and support group. Thank you for sticking with me through thick and thin.”
In her speech, Ms Fu noted that 2016 was an extraordinary year for sport in Singapore, saying: “We witnessed the power of sport in inspiring and rallying the entire nation. Singaporeans from all walks of life came together to cheer on our Team Singapore athletes and celebrated our nation’s sporting achievements with immense pride.”
“While this is a very strong cohort of nominees, Joseph was the obvious choice,” said Straits Times sports editor Lee Yulin. “His Olympic gold medal is a major breakthrough for Singapore’s sporting landscape, for it shows that someone born and bred here can become a winner at sport’s highest level. He has inspired thousands of Singaporeans, young and old, to believe in and pursue their dreams and we at ST believe that is why he deserves to be named the ST Athlete of the Year.”