Joseph Schooling Stops In Singapore For Hero’s Welcome

Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling made history at the 2016 Olympic Games. In the 100m butterfly, Schooling registered an Olympic Record-setting time of 50.39, the fastest ever in a textile suit by .01 of a second.

In doing so, Schooling earned his nation’s first-ever Olympic swimming medal and also touched out 3 legends in the process. Michael Phelps (USA), Laszlo Cseh (HUN) and Chad Le Clos (RSA) all 3 tied for silver in 51.14 behind the ambitious Schooling.

Although the history-making feat lasted less than a minute, Schooling is being hailed a hero in his home country, where its citizens welcomed the 21-year-old home earlier this week. Stopping for just 4 days in Singapore before moving on to the University of Texas to start his school year, Schooling managed to greet an enormous cluster of fans at the airport, be the prime attraction in a city-wide parade, meet the Singaporean Prime Minister and get inked with the Olympic rings tattoo.

From his first foot off the plane at Changi Airport, Schooling was surrounded by hundreds of fans, ranging from old to young. The crowd welcomed home their hero, to whom Schooling said, “Thank you, everyone, for being here so early in the morning. This is not just for me, but for all of you.”

Later that afternoon, Schooling and his parents met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament, where the two took a selfie to commemorate the occasion. Of the moment, PM Loong stated, “Usually people ask me for selfies, but today I felt so proud to ask Joseph for one!”

 

Next up for Singapore’s newest legend was a victory parade, with thousands of fans cheering for the Texas Longhorn athlete as he rode a double-decker bus through Old Airport Road to Raffles City, meeting fans along the way.

Video courtesy of Strait Times.

To sum up the sentiments of the Singaporean nation, PM Loong released the following statement via his official Facebook page.

Was deeply honoured to welcome Joseph Isaac Schooling and his parents, May and Colin Schooling to Parliament House today, where we formally congratulated him on his gold medal and expressed support for Team Singapore in ‪#‎Rio2016‬.

Joseph’s win signifies much more than Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal. He sweated and sacrificed. With determination and fire in the belly, he has shown a new generation of aspiring athletes that dreams are worth striving for.

Achievements, too, are more than medals. Many of our athletes have come away from the Olympics with new personal bests, and valuable experience going up against the world’s best. Swimmer Quah Zheng Wen set two new personal bests in the pool. Rower Saiyidah Aisyah (Aisyah Rower) reached the quarterfinals, finishing as 3rd best Asian competitor. Sprinter Timothee Yap and shuttler Derek Wong went up against Usain Bolt and Lee Chong Wei respectively – both the best in the world. They have worked hard, and they all deserve recognition for their efforts.

The Games are still ongoing and our athletes are still competing in their respective events. I hope you’ll join me in cheering on our women’s table tennis team in their semifinal match taking place right now! – LHL

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swimdoc
4 years ago

But still gets way less press coverage than another Longhorn today. May be the first time Conger has beat him at something big.

Sven
Reply to  swimdoc
4 years ago

Was thinking the same thing. Schooling wins NCAAs, individual gold medalist, etc. While Conger is always second, always just missing individual spots. Now Schooling gets a parade while Conger is being held by the police in a foreign country over a lie that someone else told.

In comic books, this stuff will result in the kind of of bitterness that creates supervillains.

Yada
Reply to  Sven
4 years ago

Wildly unlikely prediction I would nevertheless love to see. Conger goes full dark side about all of this, channels it into the greatest NCAA season we’ve ever seen. Beats Schooling in both fly’s, takes the records, and for good measure knocks off Murphy in one of the backstrokes, while leading off the 4×200 faster than Haas wins the 2 free, and drops a 39 anchoring the 4×1

Yada
Reply to  Yada
4 years ago

And the craziest part of that? Other than the part about beating Murphy at backstroke, ALL OF THAT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE FOR HIM. He lost the 2fly at the touch, was within a tenth either way of Schooling in the 100 all year until an off swim in the 100 final at NCAAs, was only a few tenths slower than Haas in the 2free LC and has better underwaters (suggesting he would be even more competitive SC), and has been known to drop nasty relay splits. And lets not forget he and Murphy were essentially equals in backstroke coming out of high school. I reiterate the wild unlikelihood of it, but man would it be sick if he finally put… Read more »

Team Rwanda
Reply to  Yada
4 years ago

Conger is a great swimmer but Schooling is simply better than him. The excuse about Conger having an off meet at NCAAs is not valid because even his best would have not beaten School. I mean he broke the american record and wast still second!

Yada
Reply to  Team Rwanda
4 years ago

I wasn’t making an excuse, I was pointing out that he is within striking distance. And I also didn’t say NCAA was an off meet, just the 100 fly final, where he had an off race compared to earlier in the season. Schooling was better than him last year no doubt. Though Conger is still faster at the LC 2 fly

Charlotte
4 years ago

Nice to see a U.Texas swimmer that his country can be proud of! A real champion in and out of the pool.

E GAMBLE
Reply to  Charlotte
4 years ago

This Rio incident does not define U Texas. It’s just an incident. And this too shall pass.

Yabo Squandrant
Reply to  Charlotte
4 years ago

I don’t think conger did anything wrong he didn’t lie about the incident like lochte

Charlotte
Reply to  Yabo Squandrant
4 years ago

Unfortunately, beyond the small and tightknit swimming community, this will be Conger’s defining moment. Wrong place, wrong time, with the wrong pals.

swimdoc
Reply to  Charlotte
4 years ago

And an Olympic gold medal. Pretty sure he’d say he’s glad he went to the Olympics.

Yabo Squandrant
Reply to  Charlotte
4 years ago

That’s sad:( at least most of us will still think of him as a good guy(I hope…I know I do).

Hatt
Reply to  Charlotte
4 years ago

For me it’s a lochte story. I really have to think for a moment to be sure who else was involved.

mcmflyguy
Reply to  Charlotte
4 years ago

USA has had many UT swimmers we are proud of… and at this olympics we are proud of Haas as well.

Uberfan
4 years ago

That boy is probably going to get food for free at every resteraunt

Uberfan
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Also why don’t we ever mention this is his nations first ever gold medal as well and it’s second medal ever

Atohitotsu
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Fifth medal ever, after two silvers and two bronzes. But yes, first gold ever and first swimming medal ever.

CROOKED HILLARY
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

I don’t keep track of every countries medal count. That’s why I don’t mention it.

Joe Bagodonuts
Reply to  CROOKED HILLARY
4 years ago

You lie!!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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