As most will know by now, national swimmer Joseph Schooling has won Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in the 100m men’s butterfly event. This is also Singapore’s first gold medal in any Olympic event.
DOMINATED FROM START TO FINISH
In a race that Schooling had dominated from start to finish, eventually touching home in an Olympic Record of 50.39s, Singaporeans from all walks of life were glued to their television screens from 9.12am (Singapore Time) this morning to watch history taking place.
A MOMENT THAT TRULY TRANSCENDS BOUNDARIES
This had certainly been really a moment that united a whole nation together regardless of race, language or religion, or whether we were watching Schooling make history from Singapore, or from abroad.
Sport is often said to transcend all boundaries, and this statement certainly can’t be truer in this situation.
In any case, history was already in the making when Schooling went into the finals as the fastest qualifier from the semis; he had the ability to win the gold but at that stage, the only question was whether he could take the pressure. Now, this world class swimmer has shown that he can.
Perhaps Schooling will target the world record next. As he is still only 21, Schooling has shown that he has the potential to further train and improve himself, and break all boundaries for Singapore sports.
MARKS A NEW ERA IN SINGAPORE SPORTS
Schooling’s victory – in which he had beaten Silver medallists Olympic legend Michael Phelps, South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Hungarian Laszlo Cseh, who had all touched home in exactly 51.14s – also marks a new era in Singapore sports.
This is because with Schooling’s Olympic victory, young Singaporeans will now have a local world class swimming hero to look up to and may wish to emulate their local idol. After all Schooling is a true blue Singaporean, having been born in Singapore and given the opportunities to chase his goals and make his dreams a reality. Young swimmers will also now have a local Olympic hero to aspire to, in the hopes of perhaps becoming an Olympic champion themselves one day.
So I wouldn’t be more surprised if the “Schooling Effect” takes place in Singapore over the next few weeks or months, with the public swimming pools in Singapore becoming more popular and more people taking up swimming lessons in the hopes of emulating their idols. So I should expect to fight for space in my local pool, the next time I go swimming, then.
But regardless, well done, Joseph Schooling. You have put this “little red dot” called Singapore, on the world stage, and shown the world exactly what we are capable of.