By: Nicholas Lee
Some Facts about Joseph Schooling, you decide for yourself
Joseph Issac Schooling, born in Singapore. Father is a 3rd generation Singaporean of mixed English and Eurasian Portuguese heritage. Mother is a Malaysian Chinese who is a Singapore PR. She has been living in Singapore for decades but has not taken up Singapore citizenship.
Went to ACS Primary school. After PSLE, his swimming potential was identified by the parents, and they decided to send him to the Jacksonville, Florida to attend the Bolles School, which is a school specializing in training athletes, in particular swimmers. Bolles has had a swimmer alumnus or student competing in every Olympic games since 1972.
Their swimming program was set up by Gregg Troy who was the US Olympic Swim coach for the 2012 Olympic games. Imagine your secondary school swimming coach is a former Olympic swimmer and coached Michael Phelps in the 2012 Olympics!! What a powerhouse your school would be in the pool. Because he is an international student, Bolles has a boarding program for its foreign students. The cost of one year of school fees and room and board is USD $47,000. Guess how much the PAP and SNOC contributed to this amount. Zero would be a fair guess.
After he graduated from Bolles, he was offered a swim scholarship at University of Texas, one of the top 5 swimming programs amongst US universities. The Head Coach for the U of T swimming program is Eddie Reese, former head coach of the US Olympics swim team in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. If you know anything about the swim program, you know that nothing is left to chance.
Professional full-time dieticians, sports psychologist, strength and conditioning coaches, multi million weight rooms, etc are all part and parcel of what athletes get when they go there. But even on a scholarship, its not cheap, with frequent travel to Singapore to compete in the SEA and Asian games and other social visits. Also, out of pocket costs and other costs in USD is also not cheap.
It was at this point when the big hooha between Schooling’s mother MINDEF took place over his deferment. After a protracted and public fight, where she used the news media to put pressure on the PAP, you know who won the fight. Unfortunately, in earlier times, without the aid of modern day internet and social media, many other athletes were lost to NS and a short sighted govt. policy. The race driver Andrew Tang is an example of a failed request for NS deferment. Ang Peng Siong in an earlier time was another case.
So to sum it up……………..
The Schoolings and not the govt paid huge money to send Joseph to Bolles for his swim coaching and studies.
The Schoolings and not the govt got the U of T scholarship for Joseph, even though it seems the PAP is giving full scholarships to every tom dick and harry FT.
The PAP wanted to sabotage the whole thing by making him do NS at such a critical junction in his swim career, and it would have happened if not for his mother’s intervention.
The other Republic swimmer Quah Zheng Wen was not so fortunate that his family can send him to Bolles and hence is stuck with no name national coach Carlos Lopez, a bronze medallist in the Olympics and with the pathetic facilities in singapore. If Quah had the same opportunities, maybe we have 2 medals or more.
You decide how much credit the PAP should get. Then see how many of these assholes jump on the bandwagon until it breaks.
Some more Facts about Joseph Schooling, you decide for yourself Part 2
I think it has to be said that as a nation, a people, a country, a govt, and as individuals, we did almost nothing to help Schooling get to the gold medal. We did not finance him, did not support him, the PAP chose not to groom and encourage this guy.
Very little of our money went to training him, and providing him the necessary support, compared to the millions we lavish on 3rd class ungrateful athletes from China and elsewhere. Not only did we not support him, we almost killed his career by making him do NS. When I say we, I mean the 70% of the morons that supported and elected the PAP.
If his mother May did not fight MINDEF to get his deferment, he might still be in the SAF now doing NS. There was no mass petition from Singaporeans calling for his deferment. there was no mass calling of the MPs to support him. There was no media support for him, and certainly no support from the Singapore National Olympics Committee for his deferment. Instead, 2 ang mos (one was his swim coach in U of T, Gregg Troy) and the other a technical director, Bill Swetenham of SSC, wrote in their support to ask for his deferment. Not one PAP asshole or Notable sinkie stood up for this boy.
But now that he won the Gold, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and be proud of him. I say that you don’t have that right. Singaporeans have not earned the right to claim the limelight with him. Where were they when he needed them? Sinkies are really pathetic hypocrites. Although I am born and raised in singapore, I am ashamed of our treatment of this boy, and I certainly cannot rejoice without a hint of embarrassment that we as a people almost kill this great moment.