When Singapore’s First Olympic Gold Medalist Didn’t Clinch Gold …
The entire nation rallied behind Joseph Schooling in 2016. But when he lost 2020's Olympics heats ...
4 Aug 2021
I am usually a proud Singaporean. But one of the things I hate about our nation – this spirit.
Armchair experts are quick to criticise and hurl insults. In the 2016 Olympics, the entire nation rallied behind Joseph Schooling when he won Singapore’s first and only gold medal. But when he lost in this year’s Olympics heats, thousands immediately turned their backs on him. It’s tough being a Singaporean sportsman. No wonder we don’t have many medal-winning Olympians.
These recent events reminded me of an old Straits Times article I wrote in 1995 after chatting with former Olympian gymnast-turned-businessman Li Ning.
While interviewing him, I saw that defeat was hard to swallow for any serious athlete. But if you wear it well, failure is not final.
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Perhaps all armchair critics of Schooling should don their Speedos, try competing in the pool and they will soon learn that armchair verbal gymnastics is not a sport. I am for Joseph Schooling.
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