Joseph Schooling rewarded for his record-breaking performance at the Olympic Games

Mr Moses Lee (left), with Ministers Grace Fu and Tan Chuan-Jin (right), presents the mock cheque to Joseph Schooling.

25 Nov 2016

Swimmer Schooling first to claim SGD1 million dollars through the SNOC multi-million dollar awards programme

Singapore, 24 November 2016 – Mr Joseph Schooling, Singapore’s first Olympic gold medallist, received SGD 1 million dollars today as part of the Singapore National Olympic Council’s (SNOC) multi-million dollar awards programme (MAP), a reward incentive programme sponsored by the Tote Board Group for major Games medallists.
He was presented with the cheque by Mr Moses Lee, Chairman of the Tote Board, together with guest of honour Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development and President of the SNOC, and Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. 

The SNOC MAP started in the 1990s to reward medal-winning athletes. It provides cash payouts to athletes who win medals at the SEA, Commonwealth, Asian and Olympic Games. Athletes are required to contribute a minimum of 20% of their awards to their respective National Sports Associations for youth development. The SNOC MAP is now sponsored by the Tote Board Group comprising Tote Board, Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club. 

On 12 August 2016 in Rio de Janerio, the 21 year-old swimmer broke the Olympic record when he clocked 50.39 seconds in the men’s 100m butterfly event, beating Michael Phelps (USA), Chad le Clos (RSA) and Laszlo Cseh (HUN) who were joint silver medallists. 

“Winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games is something I’ve dreamt of and worked towards since I was a kid. It was my dream, but ultimately one that was made only possible with the support of my parents, coaches, team-mates and friends. To be rewarded for doing something I love – swimming and racing – is a huge bonus. I would like to extend my appreciation to the Tote Board Group for supporting the SNOC multi-million dollar awards programme, giving athletes extra motivation to do well for Singapore,” said Schooling who was in Singapore while taking a short break from his studies at the University of Texas in Austin.

Twenty-five athletes led by chef de mission Mr Low Teo Ping represented Singapore in 27 events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Prior to the Games, the contingent made breakthroughs in qualification, having earned a spot in rowing for the first time and sending its largest team of sailors to the Olympics. Twenty-two Team Singapore athletes qualified on merit for the first time in seven sports, on a par with the 2008 Beijing edition. 

Schooling’s achievement has marked the third consecutive Games in which Team Singapore made the podium. Li Jiawei, Wang Yuegu and Feng Tianwei broke a 48-year medal drought when they won a silver medal in the table tennis team event at the 2008 Olympics, following weightlifter Tan Howe Liang’s silver medal feat in 1960. Four years later in London, the table tennis trio earned a bronze medal in the same event while Feng won another bronze for the Republic in the women’s singles event.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin paid tribute to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games athletes for their gutsy drive, “I had the privilege to be in Rio to support our athletes and officials and to witness the tenacity of our athletes as they put in their best efforts to compete against the best in the world. I witnessed the camaraderie of Team Singapore, displayed when athletes of different sports came together to form friendships, cheer each other on and encourage one another when times were tough. What I witnessed truly exemplifies the spirit of Team Singapore.”