Golden soundbites: Joseph Schooling and Michael Phelps after the final

Joint silver medalists Michael Phelps (left), Chad le Clos (right) and Laszlo Cseh (second, left) with Joseph Schooling on the podium after he won the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's 100m butterfly final on August 12.
Joint silver medalists Michael Phelps (left), Chad le Clos (right) and Laszlo Cseh (second, left) with Joseph Schooling on the podium after he won the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's 100m butterfly final on August 12.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

During his victory lap, Joseph Schooling looks to a familiar figure. The king who has been his inspiration and obsession for so long.

He turns to Michael Phelps and says: "Dude, this is crazy. I don't know how to feel right now. This is out of this world."

Phelps has been through this 22 times before, so he simply smiled, gave his successor a reassuring pat on the back and replied: "I know."

Other golden soundbites from the duo after the epic 100m butterfly final:

During the victory lap

ON RETIREMENT

Schooling: Why don't you go four more years?

Phelps: No way. That is not going to happen.


 

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ON THE MOMENT

Schooling: Dude this is crazy. I don't know how to feel right now. This is out of this world.

Phelps: (with a smile) I know.


During the press conference

ON THEIR FIRST MEETING IN 2008

Schooling: Michael and the US team came to Singapore for a training camp before Beijing and came to the country club where I trained at. I was doing my Chinese essay for school and everyone was rushing and saying it's Michael. I was like, oh I want a picture with him. When I saw him I was shellshocked, didn't really smile - I just opened my mouth wide. Looking back, it's pretty crazy what happens in eight years and I'm just honoured and privileged to swim alongside him.

Phelps: I remember the monkeys kept stealing power bars from the team area at the pool. I wanted to see them so bad I just drove round in a golf cart just looking at monkey flying around these trees. It was awesome.

Schooling: Yeah, I was in the golf cart with him.

Phelps: I was so excited to see the monkeys.


ON BEING THE NEW BUTTERFLY KING

A journalist asks about what it means to end Phelps' streak and take over the mantle as the go-to butterfly swimmer in the world, and Schooling looks to Phelps.

Phelps: That's for you bro, don't look at me. (Laughter)

Schooling: (answering the question) "Chad, Michael, Laszlo... they will still be the face for butterfly. This is my first. It's not like I've won 22 or 23..."

Phelps: "It's a pretty good one to win though."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 14, 2016, with the headline 'Golden soundbites'. Print Edition | Subscribe