- Joseph Schooling halted Michael Phelps’ 23rd gold medal for the meantime as he beat him in the men’s 100m butterfly division at the 2016 Olympics 8 years after they first met
- The picture of the two taken during the Beijing Olympics in 2008 circulated the internet after Schooling also clocked in an Olympian record 50.39 seconds
- Phelps claimed his 23rd gold medal, his last one after he announced his retirement, on the 4x100-meter medley relay the next day
Eight years after they first met, the rising swimmer of Singapore, Joseph Schooling, beat the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, during the men’s 100m butterfly division at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Aside from giving his country their first ever gold medal, he also recorded a new Olympic record after clocking in 50.39 seconds in the competition, faster than any of Phelps’ records. Phelps, Chad de Clos from South Africa, and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary tied for the silver medal.
People were interested in the interaction between Phelps and Schooling right after a photo of the two during the 2008 Beijing Olympics resurfaced. Schooling, who was still remarkably smaller and was still wearing glasses, posed for a picture with his idol.
Who could’ve known that they will be meeting again – but this time, he was the athlete who halted Phelps attempt of a 23rd gold medal? Schooling wasn’t shy to express his admiration for someone whom he considered as the reason why he wanted to become a better swimmer.
Meanwhile, the 31-year old was proud of the younger athlete. According to him, he was happy to close his doors on the sports the way he wanted to following the announcement of his retirement during this year’s Olympics. It didn’t take him long to claim his 23rd and final Olympic gold the next day on the 4x100-meter medley relay.
What awaits Schooling after his victory?
He still has 4 years to train again before the next Olympics as the whole world keeps an eye on him. But for the meantime, he can enjoy the warm celebration prepared by his country. Aside from getting one million free miles and his own Elite gold card from an airlines in Singapore, he was also invited by the Parliament of Singapore on Monday.
According to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, he shared a phone call with Schooling to congratulate him and invited him to the session himself.
Tokyo will host the Olympics in 2020 after beating Istanbul, Turkey and Madrid, Spain in the host city election. They will be the first country in Asia to host the Olympics twice and will be welcoming karate, skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing as new events in the Olympics.