Congratulations to Joseph Schooling for Gold!

Heartiest congratulations to Mr Joseph Schooling, who has achieved the legendary accomplishment of a Gold medal at the Olympics! Good job!

Here is some analysis of factors contributing to Joseph’s Schooling’s success:


Joseph’s height is 1.84 m (close to the ideal height of 1.90 m). In swimming, a tall height is desirable, as that would lead to an instant lead the moment you jump into the water. But this is not basketball, too tall (e.g. over 2 m) is probably not good as that will lead to increased drag and bad aquadynamics. So judging by height of former Olympic swimmers, roughly 1.90 m is the ideal height.

In fact, in 2006, “Schooling’s parents, Colin and May, send him for a bone test – which calculates growth potential – to see how far he can go in the sport. The test reveals that he will hit 1.90 metres, which is an optimum height to excel in the sport at the highest levels.” (

Motivation / Training Hard

This is probably the most important factor. Even when just eight years old, Joseph Schooling woke up his dad at 4.30 am to request to go for swimming training.

Schooling also took training to the highest level by going overseas (to Texas) for his training.

Joseph Schooling also has a motivational poster (see below) to remind himself daily of the times he need to achieve for a podium finish.

schooling photo

Supportive Parents (and relatives)

Joseph Schooling’s grand-uncle Lloyd Valberg, a former high jumper, was Singapore’s first ever Olympian at the 1948 London Games. He was the one who inspired Joseph to aim for the Olympics, when Joseph was just 6 years old.

“Colin (Joseph’s father) and his wife, May, decided to groom their only son to the best of their ability, going so far as to ensure he had access to swimming facilities to train during every vacation they took during his childhood. This would continue into his formative years, when Joseph was sent first to the famed Bolles School in United States to train under renowned coach Sergio Lopez and now the University of Texas to continue his development at the best possible environment.” (from–the-world-has-taken-notice-of-joseph-and-singapore-150934197.html)

Bounceback from Adversity

In 2012 Olympics, Joseph met with extreme bad luck in the form of his goggles and swim suit not being approved, leading to a last minute change which would affect his timings.

Despite that, Joseph continued to persevere in his training, which led to his fantastic results in 2016.

Excellent Coach

Joseph Schooling’s coach is Sergio Lopez, “who is a former international top swimmer from Spain, who won the bronze medal in the 200 meters breaststroke at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul” (Wikipedia).

Coach is very important, Michael Phelps credits his success to his legendary coach Bob Bowman, who has written a book The Golden Rules: 10 Steps to World-Class Excellence in Your Life and Work.

Government Support

The Singapore government has humanely allowed a deferment from National Service (2 year mandatory conscription into the army) for Joseph Schooling. This is a crucial factor as for Olympic athletes, uninterrupted training is of utmost importance.

Joseph Schooling T-shirts

Finally, here are some cool Joseph Schooling Shirts suitable for his ardent fans. (Note that Red/White are Singapore’s national colors.)