Behind every champion, there are a number of unsung heroes. Auntie Yolly is one such silent hero behind Joseph Schooling, the guy who beat Michael Phelps in Rio Olympics 2016.
Schooling might have defeated the ultimate legend of the swimming world, but he did not do it alone. He had the blessings of his favorite Auntie Yolly to back his tireless efforts and help him become the first Olympic Gold Medalist from Singapore.
Schooling did not forget to thank “Auntie Yolly”, as he calls her, for all her support throughout the years.
So who is Aunt Yolly?
How Yolanda became “Aunt Yolly”
Mrs. Yolanda Pascual is a Filipina domestic working who was employed by the Schooling family 19 years ago and has since been serving them loyally.
Joseph considers her as his “second mum” as Auntie Yolly has seen him grow up from her “waterboy” to a world-class swimming champ.
Auntie Yolly’s Support for Schooling
It’s no secret as to how hard an athlete has to train in order to become the best. Schooling too had to sacrifice a lot, Auntie Yolly recalled in an interview with Strait Times.
“When friends asked (him) to go out, he usually couldn’t because he had practice early the next day,” said Auntie Yolly.
But there were times when Schilling’s determination and difficult regime seemed to bring him down. Then it was Auntie Yolly’s miracles massages that brought strength back to his exhausted muscles and bones again.
“Even now, when he comes back, he still asks for massages and he’s still like the young boy he was before he left,” mentioned Yolanda.
Yolanda also loved cooking for Schooling and made him do his homework on time so that he did not miss out on good grades due to swimming practice.
Schooling And Phelps
As it was reported earlier, the Rio Olympics was the first time that Phelps met with Schooling. Schooling has a picture with the Swimming legend from eight years ago when Phelps and his team had made a pit stop at Singapore on their way to Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Nanny Yolly recalled that Schooling wanted to be just like his idol, Michael Phelps when he grew up, reports Manila Bulletin.
“I remember once we were watching (Michael) Phelps on TV, he told me he wanted to be there and be like him, and I knew he could do it,” recalled Yolanda.
The Gold Medal Moment
Auntie Yolly was always there beside her ward in his journey to the Rio Olympics and was cheering him on all the while when he competed against some of the best in the finals.
“I cannot express how happy I am… I was jumping and crying after he won,” mentioned Yolanda.
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