Olympic champ and University of Texas standout Joseph Schooling says he tore his bicep twice the fall after the Rio Olympics and wishes he would have red-shirted (an NCAA term for sitting out a season) his junior year of college. The comments came on coach Sergio Lopez‘s podcast.
Lopez coached Schooling in high school when both were part of the Bolles School program in Florida. Schooling graduated and moved to the University of Texas, where he won four individual NCAA titles. Representing Singapore at the 2016 Olympics, Schooling won gold.
But he says the months after Rio were injury-riddled, and he regrets not sitting out a year to recover. Schooling struggled in both his junior and senior year of college after sweeping NCAA 100 & 200 fly titles over his first two seasons.
“Looking back, if I could change one thing, without a doubt, I would have red-shirted my junior year of university,” Schooling says on the podcast. “I should have taken that year off.
“[Texas coach] Eddie [Reese] was pushing me to come back. I tore my bicep twice during the first semester, missed the invite meet, couldn’t qualify for NCAAs and found myself backpedaling for the next year and a half or two years.”
Lopez eventually left Bolles to head Singapore’s National Team, but has since moved back to the U.S. and taken over the college program at Virginia Tech. A few months ago, Schooling reunited with Lopez at Virginia Tech, with plans to train through the Tokyo Olympics.