If you google Joseph Schooling today, Wikipedia will show “Joseph Isaac Schooling is a Singaporean swimmer. He is the gold medalist in the 100 m butterfly at the 2016 Olympics”. Looks quite simple right? It won’t once you know his story.

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Joseph first met Michael Phelps prior to Beijing Olympics when the Olympian visited Singapore. Fast forward to 8 years and Joseph won the gold after beating the ace swimmer in the 100m Butterfly finals. He is the first Singaporean to ever make an Olympic swimming final, and of course the first one to get a gold medal.


But, you can’t just fast forward the 8 years. Joseph was very determined and focused towards his goal. In 2011, he beat Michael Phelps’ record (Age group 15-16 years) and in 2012, he actually got to compete in one of the lanes with his hero himself. Joseph lost the event and was heartbroken but it was Phelps who motivated him yet again. According to this post, Joseph said:

“I was walking behind Phelps after my race when he looked at me and asked, ‘what’s wrong? I told him what happened and he hugged me and said, ‘you’re only so young, you still have a long way to go. It’s a learning experience so keep your head high and just keep moving on.”

Imagine getting consoled by your idol after a loss! It’s a dream come true when the person you idolize is right in front of you, motivating you. It worked like wonder for Joseph and here we are today, the day the follower beat his hero. Inspiring right?


Take a look at the original post here:

Thank you Olympics for giving us such motivational stories.