First off, a belated 51st birthday to the nation and may we strive on to see to the 101st eventhough it is unlikely that I will live to see it.
Another belated gift to the nation comes in the form of the first olympic Gold Medal Won by Joseph Schooling in the Rio Olympic Men's 100m butterfly and from here, congratulation to Joseph Schooling on his monumentous win and also a pat on the back for his parents for seeing their hard work coming to fruition.
While I partake in the joy and celebration, I will have to confess that I did not in any way contributed to his success. His glory is his and his family alone, let us remember this and not to take it away or diminish it.
There had always been questions if Joseph, his parents and even his grandparents are Singaporean, unfortunately for him, he and his parent are as Singaporean as Singaporean gets, which is what I believe, resulting in him and his family having to go through a decade and more of trial and tribulation in order to see all these comes to 50.38 sec of glory and a moment in history on the Podium of the Olympics.
Putting it perspective, if he was indeed some youngling that was talent scouted oversea to be the Golden boy of Singapore Swimming, He will probably be given a stipend on top of all his training and coaching paid for. His parent probably would not have to sell their house just so that he can train and study overseas and compete at a level that pushes him to greatness.
There are some that said that it takes a community that raised a champion, but in this case, I will say that the parents are probably the most important pillar of his success. With his drive and determination, he could probably ace in any other far more lucrative pursuits. Which is why when young Schooling go and tell his dad that he wants to be a world class swimmer, I am glad that Old Schooling did not knock him hard on the head and make him go be a world class mathematician, lawyers or Doctor and deprive us of our Gold Medal.
It was his Dad's dedication and his Mum's gumption that they went to MINDEF to get Schooling his deferment and put up a case so tight that MINDEF eventually relent. Which is a lesson to us parent that when our children have dreams that is big and potential to be greater, our own comfort and dreams might have to take a back seat.
There are some business out thaer that is taking advantage on Schooling's success. Despicable as it may seems, they are not wrong to take advantage of this once in a life time opportunity to ride on Nationalistic euphoria to promote their biz. So long as they do not falsify any endorsement or sponsorship, or take credit that Schooling's success, I will just take it that this is business being business, and that it came only once in the last 51 years.
As for politicians that suddenly became best pals, good uncle/auntie to our newly minted Golden boys, well, I do certainly hope that they take it to heart that the only reason that they partake in this glorious win has nothing to do with what they had done. IT is just sheer luck that Joseph was born in Singapore and that somehow our star shone through that the schoolings did not decide to up and leave for greener pastures when there was so many that stacked against them in achieving this win.
And that it was almost a shrug to explain away why we almost have to watch his win on delayed telecast and that while they flew first class on tax payers' money half way around the world to RIO to shake hand and bask in his glory, there are far too many athletes that are struggling to fund to fly to their next competition and that before crowd-sourcing, they will have to sell the roof over their head to realise a dream so big.
So, I am glad that Schooling stayed Singaporean and win 1 for Singapore. While the Nation owes you a debt. (By the way, the prize money still have to be deducted for Tax and contribution to the National Swimming association or something like that because they did what for him???)
I will just wih all the best in your next competition in the pools or in life.