PM Lee, Edwin Tong pay tribute to Joseph Schooling, Latest Swimming News - The New Paper

PM Lee, Edwin Tong pay tribute to Joseph Schooling

Following Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling’s retirement announcement on April 2, tributes have poured in from Singapore’s political leaders, who congratulated him on a successful career and thanked him for his contributions.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong commented on Schooling’s Facebook post announcing his retirement, saying: “Thank you for flying our flag high. All the best for your next chapter!”

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, also said on social media: “As Jo retires today, with a cupboard full of other medals from more than a decade of major competitions, we remember him not for his medals, but for the belief he has given us. 

“He has given us an experience we have never had – pride, honour and glory on the world sporting stage with the pinnacle of an Olympic gold, inspiring generations who follow him to aim for the same heady heights and believing in themselves.”

Noting that Tokyo 2020 “did not go as well” for Schooling after he finished last in his heat, Tong said he sat with the swimmer after the race, adding: “What struck me about him was how he took it all on, no excuses, and faced up to his failure. That is also a mark of a true champion.”

Singaporeans have also taken to social media to share their gratitude for the swimmer’s contributions to the country.

As at 2.30pm, Schooling’s post on Facebook garnered more than 400 comments and about 280 shares, while his Instagram post had more than 23,000 likes.

On Facebook, A. Thiyaga Raju thanked Schooling for putting Singapore on the world map, and said: “Enjoy a well-earned break from competitive swimming... your winning of Singapore’s one and only Olympic gold medal has left us eternally thankful and indebted.”

Another Facebook user, Antony Lou, said: “Thank you for giving the nation that one magical moment where almost all Singaporean(s)... witnessed history.

“Thank you for uniting the nation and allowing me to witness a Singaporean winning an Olympic gold medal in my lifetime, in fulfilling my dream, too, besides yours.

“All the best to your next chapter in life and endeavour.”

Earlier, Schooling told The Straits Times in an interview that taking the next step in his career is “both scary and exciting”.

The 28-year-old will now focus on his work in the venture capital space in “health and wellness, tech, and sustainability” with two partners, and his swim school, while enjoying other pursuits such as golf.

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