At approximately 9am Singapore time this morning, our nation celebrated.
For the first time in the history of our tiny nation, Singapore has won an Olympic gold medal.
Finally. A medal. A gold one.
And a record to boot too! An Olympic record. 50.39 sec in the men’s 100m butterfly final.
Snatched by a true blue born-and-bred Singaporean.
What an amazing sight it was to behold, to see this man touch the wall at the end of his race ahead of the great Michael Phelps. As the Straits Times correspondent eloquently puts it, “He grows up worshipping a water god who hasn’t lost a major 100m butterfly race since 2005 and then he drowns his deity’s dream.”
Joseph Schooling has done our nation proud.
Joy and pride swelled as our national anthem resonated through the aquatics centre in Rio. For the first time ever.
Watching this young man standing on the podium, hand on his heart, muttering the words of Majulah Singapura under his breath as our national flag is raised above the others… I cried.
I will never understand how hard he has worked to get to where he is. I can only imagine the sacrifices and the suffering he has endured… but only he can truly attest to how arduous this journey has been.
As a spectator, I can only congratulate him, and say thank you. Thank you for doing Singapore proud.
I am incredibly inspired.
Singapore is incredibly proud of you Joseph. Because of you, people have sat up and taken notice of our crescent moon and five stars.
However, being Singaporeans, we must add comedy to even the most touching of moments. Here is a Facebook post by our Ministry of Education no less! In response to calls by the public for a celebratory public holiday…
And a brilliant come-back by a well-schooled and witty Singaporean.