Singapore’s Olympic champion Joseph Schooling and Paralympic medallists Laurentia Tan and Theresa Goh were inducted into the Sport Hall of Fame on Tuesday (8 Aug) at the Singapore Sports Museum.
The three were inducted for their accomplishments in their respective sports. They are three of 55 Singapore sporting legends awarded this accolade. Other inductees include Singapore’s first Olympic medallist weight-lifter Tan Howe Liang, table tennis players Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Li Jiawei, football icon Fandi Ahmad, silat exponent and world champion Sheik Alau’ddin and para-swimmer and double Rio gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu.
Swimmer Schooling, 22, won Singapore’s first gold medal at the Olympics in Rio last year when he beat swim legend Michael Phelps to the 100m butterfly crown in 50.39 seconds, an Olympic record. He is also the first Singaporean to make a podium finish at the World Championships. He has won two bronzes in the 100m butterfly at two editions of the international swim meet.
“It’s a great honour, not only for myself but for my family and my country. Being on the wall with uncle (Ang) Peng Siong and Joscelin (Yeo), the greats of Singapore sports – that’s a force to be reckoned with. It’ll be a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” said Schooling to the media after the ceremony.
Swimmer Goh won a bronze in the SG4 100m breaststroke at the Rio Paralympics last year. It was the 30-year-old’s first podium finish after competing at four editions of the Paralympics.
Goh said, “I’ve been swimming for 18 years. It’s not something I was expecting. It’s just something that was a surprise for me but a pleasant surprise. We don’t do our sport because we want to achieve accolades like this. It’s always an icing on the cake… As a para-athlete in Singapore, just being able to represent the para-sports community is not something I take for granted.”
Goh, who is only one of three para-athletes in the Hall of Fame, added that she hopes for more para-athletes to be recognised for their sporting successes. She said, “I just hope it will allow more para-athletes to see that it is possible. Hopefully it’s not just based on Paralympic medals because so far the three of us (Goh, Tan and Yip) are the only Paralympic medallists in Singapore. I’m hoping that the Sports Hall of Fame is not just based on medals. Our para-athletes have to buck up and continue to do their best – not just in their sport but be great role models also.”
Para-equiestrienne Tan, 38, is Singapore’s first Paralympic medallist, with three bronzes and one silver from the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics.