Joseph Schooling and the rush to backstory a champion

This post is a follow-up to “Joseph Schooling and the politics of belonging in Singapore“, posted on 13th August 2016, 1155hrs, GMT+8.

It has been roughly 36 hours since Joseph Schooling won Singapore’s first gold medal at the Olympic games. Amidst this revelry, many Singaporeans have pointed out that national swimmer Yip Pin Xiu had won Singapore’s first gold medal at the 2008 Paralympics, and independent alternative media The Online Citizen has highlighted that Singaporeans’ excessive celebrations and focus on Schooling might be “insensitive” to the national athletes who are still competing in Rio.

The media reportage on Schooling’s win and construction of his backstory has been intriguing to me. I decided to do a quick analysis of the post-win narratives on Schooling by local English language mainstream news publications on their websites. Retrieved from the ‘News’ tab on Google on 14 August 2016, 2100hrs, GMT+8, the sample included AsiaOne, Channel News Asia, The New Paper, The Straits Times, TODAYonline, and Yahoo Singapore News; I excluded re-posts from foreign media. Many of these articles presented recurring themes and overlaps and are therefore attributed in the hyperlinked “source” more than once. Header image screengrabbed from Google images under the search “Joseph Schooling” on 14 August 2016, 2215hrs, GMT+8.

Continue reading Joseph Schooling and the rush to backstory a champion

Joseph Schooling and the politics of belonging in Singapore

You guys, it’s Singapore first gold Olympic medal ever and this 21yo dude beats the Olympic Record and Phelps. What is life really?

He even placed first to three pool legends tied for second.

And how does Joseph Schooling react to his historic win? This humility, amidst some unwarranted press hate of late.

Continue reading Joseph Schooling and the politics of belonging in Singapore