The things May Schooling has to say about her son reveal a lot about his personality, growing up years and journey to success.

May Schooling has become a household name since her son, Joseph Schooling, beat Michael Phelps in the 100m Men’s Butterfly to win Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games 2016. Here are 10 of her most memorable quotes about the nation’s Olympic champion.


1 On being a strict parent:

“If he says a foul word, I’ll slap him.”


2 On her expectations before the South East Asian Games 2015:

“If he gets a silver or bronze, I’ll ask him, ‘Did you do your best?’ And if you’ve done your best and you’ve lost to a better swimmer it’s fine. But at the same time, I’ll ask him, ‘What happened!’”


3 On having his national service deferred to compete in the Olympics:

“I told Joseph, you have to give them the ammunition to defer you further.”


4 Her personal cheer for him:

“Hubba, hubba, hubba, go, Joseph, go!”


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5 On rumours about his girlfriend:

“He’s been linked with so many girls, but that doesn’t mean he’s got a girlfriend.”


6 On not going easy on Joseph when he loses:

“I say, ‘If you did your best then that’s your best, if not then you just have to try harder. I sympathise with him some times but I try not to baby him’.”


7 On how to raise a champion:

“The child has to want it. It’s no good if only the parent wants it and pushes it onto the child… It doesn’t work. The kid has to be the one to decide, and you support him.”


8 On his love for swimming:

“The minute he could crawl, you couldn’t keep him away from the water.”


9 On his experience at boarding school, and how he was just like any other teenage boy:

“At 13 or 14, he was not ready to be independent… In the dorm, when they wake you up, they assume you wake up and go for training or school, but of course he just goes back to sleep.”


10 On witnessing her son’s historic Olympic win:

“All of us were jumping around like monkeys.”