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“Singapore strikes its first Olympic gold”
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“Singapore strikes its first Olympic gold”

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Kevin Tan picWIth closing ceremonies fresh in memory and Olympians around the world returning home from the Rio 2016 games, Kevin Tan, 20, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Singapore, describes the inspiration evoked by Singapore’s first gold medallist. 

History has been made in Singapore’s sporting history, as 21-year-old Joseph Schooling has won the Republic’s first Olympic gold medal.

Schooling clocked a brisk 50.39 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly finals to finish first. This is a massive achievement, as Schooling achieved his gold medal whilst going up against swimming champions like America’s Michael Phelps, South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh. No mean feat for a budding young swimmer trying to make a splash in his second Olympic games!

Schooling’s achievement is monumental and exceptional in so many aspects. Aside from setting a new Olympic record, Schooling became the first swimmer from Southeast Asia to win an Olympic gold.

As a Singaporean, I can attest to the excitement and jubilation we felt as we followed Schooling’s campaign for Olympic gold. Seeing Schooling come in first place from the heats to the finals was akin to watching a legend being born. Our hopes for him turned into collective joy as we saw the national flag being hoisted up and “Majulah Singapura” (Singapore’s national anthem) echoing across the hall.

The Power Of The Olympics

It is not often that a nation comes together and basks in pure euphoria and happiness. That is the power of sports in uniting a nation. The greatest contribution of an athlete comes not from the amount of medals he wins but the pride he brings to his homeland.

Sometimes, the greatest victories for a country are not the medals but the seeds the medals sow for their sporting future. Just as Michael Phelps’s career has inspired Schooling’s Olympic dream, Schooling’s achievement could potentially birth a new generation of competitive swimmers.

This is not just an achievement for Singapore alone. All around the world, kids watching Schooling win now know that dreams are not just distant aspirations. Dreams are real and possible so long as one chases them with resolute determination and discipline.

Self Belief And Familial Love

The astounding sacrifices put in by Schooling are a testament to his indomitable resolve. Leaving Singapore and his friends at the tender age of 14 for Florida’s Bolles School and dedicating his life to competitive swimming takes a tremendous strength of will and unbridled optimism.

Additionally, the confidence his parents had in him was a key ingredient to his success. The love and unshakeable belief they had in Schooling’s potential led to them spending nearly US$ 1 million for his living expenses whilst training at the US.

It in only within the context of such difficulties and sacrifices that makes Schooling’s victory understood as bittersweet and well deserved. It is apparent that the trials and tribulations Schooling underwent in the seven years prior to his achievement at the Rio Olympics were a crucible that forged him into the champion that he is today.

Congratulations, Joseph Schooling. In fulfilling your dreams, you taught us so much about passion and discipline. Your swift strokes in the pool have placed Singapore into the spotlight and have empowered an entire nation to dream bigger.

References: http://www.straitstimes.com/sport/a-seven-year-struggle-to-olympic-glory

Photo credithttps://www.pexels.com/photo/water-swimming-competition-pool-56837/

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About me: I am your typical Singaporean son. Currently doing my national service, I enjoy reading, writing and watching movies. I look forward to pursuing a degree in Business Administration at the National University of Singapore under a university scholarship in 2017.I was imbued with a passion for learning at Hwa Chong Institution, where I was exposed to a wide variety of subjects and activities such as economics, English literature and science research. It is this passion for knowledge and learning that informs my interdisciplinary approach to writing.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

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