ST Sports Talk Podcast: Addressing fairweather sports culture and athlete accountability

Joseph Schooling sharing a warm embrace with his swim coach, Sergio Lopez, at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Joseph Schooling sharing a warm embrace with his swim coach, Sergio Lopez, at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.PHOTO: SERGIO LOPEZ MIRO/INSTAGRAM

ST Sports Talk Ep 136: MCCY's Edwin Tong on Joseph Schooling, fairweather sports fans, athlete accountability

16:20 mins

Synopsis: The Straits Times tackles the biggest sports talking points every month.

Team Singapore has returned home from the Tokyo Olympics empty-handed but Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong insisted that there were "a lot of positives". These included the record 12 sports that Singapore is represented in at these Games by 23 athletes - 17 of whom are debutants - as well as some individual performances that Mr Tong said "stood out".

In this episode, assistant sports editor Rohit Brijnath and sports correspondent Sazali Abdul Aziz discuss with Mr Tong, the following:

1. What Mr Tong said to Joseph Schooling after his swimming setbacks (0:42)

2. On fairweather fan reaction when Singapore sports stars fail, and if athletes should also be accountable for performances (2:30)

3. On why a detailed, honest and critical look is needed for what worked and what did not work for Team SG at Tokyo (4:15)

4. On his reaction to online forum threads about Schooling's performance arc (8:06)

5. Athletes' mental health is key, even for Team SG athletes and the role of the Singapore Sport Institute and National Youth Sports Institute (9:28)

Produced by: Rohit Brijnath (, Sazali Abdul Aziz ( & ST Video team

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim

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