OPINION — Despite the overwhelming pride for Joseph Schooling and his magnificent feat in beating swimming icon Michael Phelps and scoring Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal, there’s another wave of pervasive opinion on social media about his achievement.
It’s about how everyone’s just trying to ride on Schooling’s coattails of success, despite doing jackshit for him and his family. Schooling’s triumph in the Olympics wasn’t due to Singapore’s fervent belief and support in letting him cultivate his passion — it was solely due to his own determination and the countless sacrifices made by his parents, Colin and May Schooling. Heck, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu didn’t even bother fighting for the decision to broadcast the Olympic Games live on TV here, explaining that Singaporeans would be fine watching delayed telecasts.
Thus the reason many are poking through the thin veneer that is everyone jumping on board the Schooling bandwagon. Politicians, jewellery stores, Singapore Airlines, McDonald’s and other entities who did diddly squat for Schooling in his long road to Olympic Gold came out in droves to get a piece of his limelight. In fact, here’s the Joseph Schooling Bandwagon List of Shamelessness, courtesy of local blogfather Mr Brown.
Then there’s the various social media postings reminding you not to forget who the real heroes of the moment are. Hint: Not the ones who invited the Schooling family to Parliament to sit through dozens of sudden vocalised admirations.
Here’s another excellent blog post by Finnish/Japanese/Singaporean blog The Hieno, questioning what exactly the government did for the Olympic champ — or even other Singaporean figures of arts and sports, for that matter.
Veteran radio presenter Joe Augustin even wrote a brilliant non-political rant that parallels all too well with the current commemoration.
All valid issues, and perhaps ones that should be brought to the forefront after the Schooling Celebration blows over.