Joseph Schooling: Facts About Swimmer Who Beat Michael Phelps

Joseph Schooling: Facts About Swimmer Who Beat Michael Phelps
Owned by Joseph Isaac Schooling Julian Lim / Flickr cc

Michael Phelps lost the 23rd Olympic gold medal of his career to Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling, who is 10 years younger than him! So, who is Joseph Schooling?


The young swimmer, Joseph Isaac Schooling, managed to become the first Singaporean Olympic champion after defeating the legendary Michael Phelps, someone Joseph Schooling always looked up to and considered his idol.

After he finished ahead of his hero by less than half a second (Schooling: 50.39 secs; Phelps: 51.14 secs), he could not believe himself and punched the water in exhilaration.

Early Life

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Joseph Schooling was born to Colin and May Schooling on 16th June 1995, reports SwimSwam. He attended high school in at Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, where his love for swimming developed.

The 100m fly is Schooling’s specialty and he began his swimming career by breaking all of his high school’s swimming records as well as National Independent record.

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Schooling went on to participate in the NCAA Championships in 2014, representing Texas. He had the best split in the 400 yard Medley Relay, stood first in the 100-yard fly and clinched many other victories that helped his team win the Championships that year.

World Championships

Before stealing the gold medal away from Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics 2016, Schooling had already scored a gold medal in the 100m butterfly, a silver medal in 50m butterfly a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly in the Asian Games 2014. He also grabbed a medal in the Commonwealth Games in the same year.

Even though Schooling did not win a medal in the World Championships 2015, he did set a new Asian record for the fastest swim in a 50m fly.

Schooling and Phelps

The 2016 Rio Olympics is not the first time that Joseph Schooling met Michael Phelps for the first time. Believe it or not, Phelps is the one who inspired to Schooling to take up swimming as a sport in the first place!

Schooling had met Phelps back in 2008 when the US team had taken a detour and stopped for a bit in a training camp in Singapore before they headed off to the Olympic Games which were being held in Beijing that year, reports NBC News.

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They had taken a picture together, where Schooling looks awkward at the age of 13, standing beside a towering Phelps, who was at the peak of his swimming career at the time.

However, Rio Olympics 2016 being the last one in his career, Phelps is more than happy to pass on the torch, even though the last solo race did not end in a shining gold medal.

“I’m not happy, obviously, nobody likes to lose,” a thoroughly satisfied Phelps told The Guardian. “But I’m proud of Joe.”

For Schooling, however, it all seemed like a dream still. “Just being beside him (Phelps),” Schooling said, “walking alongside him and celebrating, I will cherish that for the rest of my life.”

Schooling Made His Dad and Singapore Proud

Even among press interviews and media frenzy, Schooling called up his dad, 68, who couldn’t be present in Rio to watch his son win gold because of a health condition. He did, however, catch the game Live on TV back in Singapore.

“I love you. Son, you have done the nation very proud,” said his dad on the phone, reports Straits Times.

For the latest 2016 Rio Olympic News please stay tuned in to this site.

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