Singapore’s first ever Olympic Gold medallist Joseph Schooling received $1 million on Thursday as part of Singapore National Olympic Council’s Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP).
(L to R) Vice-President of SNOC Mr Ng Ser Miang, TeamSG swimmer Joseph Schooling, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin
The Olympic record holder for the Men’s 100m Butterfly event was presented with the cheque by Chairman of the Tote Board, Moses Lee, in the presence of Ministers Tan Chuan-Jin and Grace Fu at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Minister Tan said this year’s Olympic Games is a historic event for the nation in “more ways than one”.
“For the first time, Team Singapore had a rower in its mix and sent its largest sailing team to the Games,” he said.
“And of course, many Singaporeans would still remember the moment they watched Joseph Schooling break the Olympic record in the Men’s 100m Butterfly to win the first Gold medal in Singapore’s Olympic history.”
Joseph is the first individual to receive the highest reward under the MAP scheme, and will be required to give 20 per cent of the reward to his sporting association.
While $800,000 is a lot for any 21-year-old, the level-headed Olympian has decided to give the money to his parents, in an effort to repay them for their years of sacrifice and support.
“What does a college kid need with all that money? I’m just happy to be able to receive that support. I appreciate it.”
The MAP scheme was introduced in the 1990s to reward medal-winning athletes and is sponsored by the Tote Board Group, comprising of Tote Board, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club.
Joseph was grateful for this financial support from the Tote Board, which gives athletes extra motivation to perform.
"It's a great form of support from them (the Tote Board),” he said. “I don't think a lot of people will offer that much money to people that easily and that just goes to show how genuine they are and how invested they are in the sporting scene in Singapore, and that's really sweet."