RIO DE JANEIRO • It was a belated celebration for Singapore's 51st birthday, but there was more to cheer yesterday at the National Day reception hosted by the Singapore embassy in Brazil.
About 130 guests were at the reception held at the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro. President Tony Tan Keng Yam attended the event alongside some of the national athletes competing at the Olympics.
Said Dr Tan: "When our National Anthem was played in the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, it was one of my proudest moments, and I am sure it was the same for all Singaporeans.
"This happening shortly after Singapore celebrated our 51st National Day must have been the best birthday gift, and shows the promise Singapore's next chapter can offer."
The historic swim by Joseph Schooling in the 100m butterfly was watched by several Singaporeans who are living in Brazil.
Among them was Ng Li Hao, a 32-year-old grain trader who has been in Brazil for three years.
He flew from Sao Paulo to Rio in time to catch Schooling's event.
Ng said: "The experience was magical and priceless, and completely worth all the trouble in getting the tickets.
"Not many Singaporeans can say they were there when our first Olympic gold was won."