Joseph Schooling: ST Athlete of the Year

It is the last day of Chinese New Year, and at Raffles Hotel’s grand ballroom, we are eagerly awaiting the announcement of ST Athlete of the Year. 2014 was a stellar year for Singapore sports, and we broke much ground. The nominees for this award are Samantha Yom and Bernie Chin from Sailing, Jazreel Tan from Bowling, Aloysius Yapp from Cuesports and Joseph Schooling from Swimming.

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All of them had remarkable performances for Team Singapore in 2014, including bowling captain Jazreel Tan who was nominated for her 4-medal tally at Asiad 2014, the most by any Singaporean athlete. Read her interview here when we caught up with Jazreel after her first medal in Incheon, Korea last year.

When the results were announced, the screen on stage lit up with a skype call and the winner of the award, Joseph Schooling, was on the other end. He could not attend this ceremony because he is schooling in Texas and was represented by his parents.

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Joseph Schooling on Skype

Shiok! would like to send our warmest congratulations to all of them, to Joseph, Aloysius, Samantha, Bernie and Jazreel. All of them are Athletes of the Year and sporting role models and we look forward to their next achievements at the upcoming SEA Games 2015 held in Singapore in June.

In a video interview for his nomination for this award that was screened during the ceremony, Joseph remarked that the biggest misconception about him is that he is not Singaporean. Curious? Lets find out more about the swimmer who is specialised in the butterfly stroke!

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Joseph Schooling

Joseph Schooling Facebook

Currently a freshman at the University of Texas in USA, 19-year-old Joseph Schooling recently became the first male swimmer from Singapore in 32 years to win a gold at the recently concluded Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korean.

He also took home a Silver and Bronze medal to complete his hat trick of medals to become the most bemedalled male Singaporean athlete of the 17th. Jazreel Tan was the overall most bemedalled Singaporean athlete.

Undoubtedly, he is Singapore’s pride. In Shiok!’s recent interview with him, we have a sense that he is proud of being Singaporean.

From a young kid growing up in Block 735 Bedok Reservior’s playground, the Texas based Joseph Schooling mentions that he misses his parents, family, friends and the local food back home whenever he is away. Of course, when he uses his favourite local phrases ‘Wah Lao’ and ‘Heng ah’, his newfound friends / the locals most probably give him a weird look too.

He also misses his local delicacies such as chai tow kueh, char kway teow, chwee kueh, lontong, nasi lemak, black pepper crab and chicken rice.

He has listed Bedok and Marine Terrace hawker centers as his favourite food places. Singaporeans, if you do pop by there for a meal, keep a lookout; you might be sharing a table with our National Hero.

Having a very busy training schedule, the affable young Joseph just likes to hang out in his room or at a friend’s house to chill out and relax whenever he is not in a pool or at the gym.

He deserves it and he should rest more because next year, there will be pressure on the boy who will shed the term ‘teenager’ and become a man.

This year is Singapore’s 50th birthday and SEA Games will be held in Singapore for the first time in 32 years. Joseph along with his fellow nominees for ST Athlete of the Year are looking forward to giving Singapore a great 50th birthday present.

We asked Joseph Schooling the following questions:

What is the one thing of Singapore that makes you the proudest?

The last 50 years of progress in Singapore which makes Singapore one of the best, if not the best city in the world!

SEA Games 2015 will be held in Singapore – Describe your feelings about having this event held in Singapore.

I am so looking forward to participating in SEA Games 2015 especially since it is held in Singapore and I hope to do well for Singapore and for all who have been so supportive of me.

Complete this sentence: I am Singaporean because

I was born here, this is my home and I am proud to be one.

<End of Interview>

With answers like that; we proudly proclaim that Joseph Schooling is definitely a true blue Singaporean – Double confirm and plus chop guarantee. Right now, we are getting hungry because of all the food he has mentioned and we are going to makan…Shiok la!

Singapore is hosting the upcoming SEA Games 2015 on home soil for the first time since 1993. Let’s all get behind Team Singapore and roar for our athletes! For more information, you can visit www.seagames2015.com.

 

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