Joseph Schooling is a 21 year old swimmer from Singapore and, as of yesterday, an Olympic gold medalist. Whats more impressive, he smoked aquaman, Michael Phelps! But this meeting was one set in motion 8 years ago when the US Olympic team visited Singapore in 2008.
Schooling told The Guardian: ‘They came to the country club that I trained at. Everyone just rushed up and was like “it’s Michael Phelps! It’s Michael Phelps’ and I really wanted a picture. I was so shell shocked, I couldn’t really open my mouth.’
The American helped inspire the young Singaporean to move to the United States for extensive training at 13, first going to Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida before attending the University of Texas.
Yesterdays race was initially thought to be a showdown between Phelps and South Africa’s Chad le Clos, but Schooling made short work of those expectations and even Phelps seemed happy for his possible predecessor.
Singapore exploded in celebration after the local boy beat his hero, but nowhere more than in home of his father, Colin Schooling. In the video below, Colin Schooling is seen watching with family and friends. The race begins around 3 min mark.
The 68-year-old did not travel to Rio with his wife, May, 61, because he was not feeling well. His first words to his son: “I love you. Son, you have done the nation very proud.”