At a young age, Joseph Schooling was exposed to a number of sports including swimming, tennis, golf and cycling. He showed great passion and determination in the swimming pool and when he was 6 years old, declared he would win the Olympic Gold medal one day.
Joseph continued to excel in the pool and May Schooling played a big part in making sure that he managed both school and sports well. At the age of 13, Joseph decided to move to the USA to further his training. It was a difficult decision for May to let her young son live away from home but she supported the decision wholeheartedly. May and Colin Schooling took turns to take care of Joseph, travelling to the USA and staying there for three months at a time. They devoted their time, energy and financial resources to allow Joseph to focus on his training. May and Colin made sure that they provided the best for Joseph to fulfill his potential and dream.
When Joseph turned 18 years old, he was due to serve two years of National Service for Singapore. Determined not to let Joseph's progress to be derailed, May Schooling successfully negotiated with the Singapore government for her son's long term deferment from the National Service. That allowed Joseph to continue to train without distraction.
May's steadfast love, perseverance and unwavering support culminated in pride and joy when she witnessed her son achieving his dream of becoming an Olympic champion when he won the 100m butterfly event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Joseph made history by becoming the first Singaporean to win a gold medal at the Olympics. In the process, he set an Olympic record and defeated his idol, swimming legend Michael Phelps. Historically, it is the third-ever Olympic medal and the best finish by a South East Asian swimmer.
May continues to support Joseph in his career while encouraging and motivating others to find the courage and belief to chase their own dreams. She also ensures that Joseph remains focused and stay grounded as he continues to pursue greater heights in swimming. May has given a number of inspirational and motivational talks to corporations and enterprises.
May is a certified accountant and previously worked for Deloitte. The Schooling family was awarded the Straits Times Singaporean of the Year in 2016 for overcoming the odds as a family to create an historic moment for Singapore.