Schooling's win a Majulah moment

Joseph Schooling epitomises the idea of becoming the best that we can be, after he realised his childhood dream ("A seven-year struggle to Olympic glory"; Aug 14).

It was history in the making last week at the Rio Olympics and Schooling was in fine form to finish first in his pet swimming event, and with a new Olympic record. It was a very special moment for Singaporeans.

How fitting and timely indeed - 50-plus history-making seconds to mark Singapore's 50-plus years of nation building. He has made what had seemed implausible possible.

There are lessons to be learnt from his historic achievement.

Schooling had the attitude (he wanted to win gold), belief (in his ability to win and achieve his goal), commitment (to work hard for his dream), determination (to succeed), encouragement (from his coaches, family and friends) and focus (on the one goal that mattered most to him).

In addition, he specialised in the event where he is strongest and kept improving on his knowledge, technique and physique. There were also the countless number of opportunities for practice in training and at competitions.

After all the accolades, bouquets and celebrations, it may be useful to reflect on the deeper significance of Schooling's unprecedented achievement for Singapore. The Olympic gold medal symbolises what a small country can achieve, in spite of its limitations.

Schooling has inspired Singaporeans to excel in whatever they do, and has shown the way forward.

Schooling's victory has become a unifying force for our young nation as we rejoice in this historic moment. It is not just about winning Olympic medals but also about unifying Singaporeans through a common cause or celebration.

Beyond Schooling, swimming and sport, the Majulah moment for Singapore is about every Singaporean living a fulfilling life by daring to dream and going for gold in spite of challenges.

The Schooling family exemplifies the importance of keeping the faith and staying the course, despite the odds and the many sacrifices, to fulfil a cherished dream.

The Olympic gold is not just about the winner, winning or the medal won, but also about the people, organisations and teamwork that helped to make it happen. It is not just for the winner and the stakeholders but also for the country.

Joachim Sim

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