SINGAPORE: Iconic Singapore athlete Joseph Schooling announced his retirement from competitive swimming today (2 Apr).

The 28-year-old, who is the nation’s first and only Olympic gold medallist, revealed his decision through a heartfelt message shared on his Instagram page, marking the closure of a monumental sporting career.

He wrote, “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter — I will be retiring from competitive swimming.

“While I am stepping away from competing, swimming will forever be a part of who I am. It has given me a platform to inspire others to chase their dreams, no matter the odds.”

He added, “I am eager to explore new passions, face different challenges, and see where this next phase of life takes me. Thank you to my supporters for standing by me every step of the way. I hope you will join me as I embark on this new adventure.”

The announcement brings an end to Schooling’s illustrious journey in the aquatic realm, characterized by numerous accolades and historic achievements.

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Beyond his historic triumph in the men’s 100m butterfly event at the Olympics, Schooling’s legacy encompasses groundbreaking milestones at various international competitions.

His triumphs include being the first Singaporean swimmer to clinch a medal at the Commonwealth Games, securing a silver medal in the 2014 edition held in Glasgow. Schooling also etched his name in history by claiming a bronze medal at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in the 2015 edition hosted in Kazan.

Schooling’s dominance extended to the Asian Games, where he amassed three gold medals, including record-breaking performances in the men’s 100m fly event in both the 2014 and 2018 editions.

His stellar achievements also shone brightly at the SEA Games, where he secured an astounding nine gold medals in the 2015 Singapore edition, setting new Games records in all his races.

Reflecting on his journey, Schooling expressed gratitude for the invaluable experiences swimming has bestowed upon him. Thanking his family, coaches, teammates, and fans for their encouragement and support, he wrote:

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“I am filled with gratitude for every experience that swimming has brought into my life. The victories were exhilarating, the defeats humbling, and together, they have forged a resilience in me that I will carry forward into my next chapter.

“Needless to say, I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to my family, coaches, teammates, and my supporters; your encouragement and faith have been a constant source of motivation throughout my journey.”

As Schooling bids farewell to competitive swimming, his legacy as a trailblazer and inspiration in the world of sports will continue to resonate. Fans worldwide now eagerly await to see the next chapter in Joseph Schooling’s remarkable journey beyond the pool.