One of the most popular statements kids heard from close-minded Singaporeans while growing up was that “Arts and sports can get you no where in Singapore.” So many Singaporean kids give up taking sports or arts as co-curriculum activity in school because they were convinced it was a waste of time. This is despite knowing they may have the talent, passion or willingness to work hard and perfect what they love to do the most. Schooling’s historic win is the sledgehammer that smashes this wall of impossibility and in place has allowed himself to become a figure of representation for the present and future generations of Singaporeans. Young children will see their flag, hear their national anthem, witness the once unbeatable Michael Phelps taking the silver while a Singaporean not only brings home the Gold but breaks the Olympic record. There are many children who will go to sleep tonight dreaming about achieving this level of success. Don’t belittle their dreams and allow the people around you to celebrate Joseph Schooling’s success without unnecessary mood dampening comments.

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