Everything About Joseph Schooling’s Retirement from Competitive Swimming


28-year-old Joseph Schooling is retiring.

No, not from work; instead, Singapore’s first and only Olympic champion (so far) is retiring from competitive swimming.

Here’s how it all unfolded.

Everything About Joseph Schooling’s Retirement from Competitive Swimming

It all started from this social media post:

Image: Facebook (Joseph Schooling)

Given that it’s posted on 2 April instead of 1 April, it’s obviously not a joke. After all, even PM Lee slid into the comment section.

Image: Facebook (Joseph Schooling)

Later in the morning, he held a media session at the Chinese Swimming Club (CSC), saying, “No question is off limits, let’s have fun.”

Highlighting the emotional depth of the decision, Schooling described the journey as filled with ups and downs, ultimately leading to a sense of readiness to begin a new chapter beyond swimming. He reflected on his early passion for the sport and how his enthusiasm waned, prompting a shift towards new interests and goals.

He also expressed a desire to redefine the notion of retirement, viewing it as an opportunity for growth and application of the discipline, focus, and dedication honed in the pool to his future endeavors.

His focus now?

He told The Straits Times that his plan is to play golf and work in the venture capital space with two partners in the sectors of “health and wellness, tech and sustainability”.

When asked if he would join politics, he said, “Never say never, but for now I’m focused on playing golf, my venture capital, my swim school and helping out mum at the office. It’s my turn to be a normal guy.”

Well. You never know.

The Joseph Schooling We Knew

Joseph Schooling clinched Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100m butterfly final at the Rio 2016 Olympics, setting a then-Olympic record time of 50.39 seconds and defeating his idol, Michael Phelps.

However, his career also faced challenges, such as disqualification in the London 2012 Olympics due to unapproved equipment and a disappointing performance in Tokyo 2020.

He was also named Sportsman of the Year six times, including five consecutive times from 2015 to 2019.

Beyond the pool, Schooling navigated personal trials, including the loss of his father Colin in November 2021 and a drug controversy involving overseas cannabis consumption with fellow swimmers Teong Tzen Wei and Amanda Lim.