Date with Parliament awaits hero Schooling

Joseph Schooling being welcomed by fans and family at Changi Airport on Aug 15.
Joseph Schooling being welcomed by fans and family at Changi Airport on Aug 15.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Singapore’s one and only Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling touches down at Changi this morning, and the swimmer can expect a hero’s welcome.

A large crowd is expected when he arrives at 5.30am at Terminal 3, where he will give a short address.

Celebrations will continue with Schooling and his family attending Parliament in the afternoon following a personal invitation from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The House plans to move a motion to congratulate the 21-year-old on his gold and express support for Team Singapore athletes, said PM Lee in a Facebook post.

The motion is a formal recognition of Schooling’s achievement in the 100m butterfly final on Saturday, morning,when he defeated three star swimmers, including defending champion Michael Phelps, in an Olympic record of 50.39 seconds.

An open-top bus victory ride is also expected, although plans have yet to be confirmed. “We are also planning for some form of a street parade for him,” Sport Singapore chief executive Lim Teck Yin said yesterday.

Before catching his flight home, Schooling told reporters at the airport in Rio de Janeiro: “This moment is really important not only for myself, but also for everyone in Singapore. I am looking forward to that.”

• Additional reporting by Yogaraj Panditurai

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2016, with the headline 'Date with Parliament awaits hero Schooling'. Print Edition | Subscribe