Joseph Schooling, Olympic Gold Medalist, Retires At 28 from Swimming After Historic Career


Singapore’s first Olympic gold medalist, Joseph Schooling, has announced his retirement from competitive swimming at the age of 28.

The announcement was made on Instagram on Apr. 2, 2024.

In his statement, Schooling expressed gratitude for the experiences swimming has brought into his life, including victories and defeats that have shaped his resilience. He thanked his family, coaches, teammates, and supporters for their constant motivation and support throughout his journey.


Schooling made history during the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro by clinching Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold in the 100m men’s butterfly. He also set a new Olympic record with a time of 50.39 seconds.

  1. Joseph Schooling made his debut for Singapore at the 2011 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, where he won gold in the 50m and 200m butterfly race and a bronze in the 100m butterfly.
  2. He won a silver in the 200m individual medley at the 2011 SEA Games.
  3. Schooling qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London but did not advance to the semi-finals.
  4. He won a silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
  5. Schooling won gold in the 100m butterfly event at the 2014 Asian Games.
  6. At the 2015 SEA Games, Schooling won gold in all nine events he participated in.
  7. He won a bronze medal at the 2015 FINA World Championships.
  8. Schooling obtained a joint bronze medal with British swimmer James Guy at the 2017 FINA World Championships.
  9. In the 2017 SEA Games, Schooling won gold in all six events he participated in.
  10. At the 2019 SEA Games, he won four gold and two silver medals.

In 2023, Schooling made the difficult decision to withdraw from the SEA Games, citing that he was not at the level he held himself to perform and prioritizing the country over individual accolades.

In 2022, Schooling confessed to taking cannabis overseas in May of that year, while on short-term disruption from full-time National Service to train and compete in the SEA Games. He was placed on a supervised urine test regime and was not eligible for leave or disruption to train or compete while serving his NS.

Despite the challenges he faced, Schooling leaves a lasting legacy in Singapore’s sporting history as a trailblazer and role model. As he embarks on a new chapter in life, he expressed eagerness to explore new passions and challenges.

Picture via Instagram

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