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There are two sides to every story: front and back. It is the backstory that matters most. Joseph Schooling is Singapore's first-ever Olympic champion. One can only imagine the hard work behind this world-class feat. His call home from Rio 2016 says it all.

"I love you too, Dad."

A six-year-old Joseph had a chat with relatives about his grand-uncle Lloyd Valberg over a family dinner in 2001. Valberg was Singapore’s first ever Olympian, representing Singapore at the 1948 Games in the high jump event. The chat inspired Joseph hard. He, too, wanted to be an Olympian one day.

Mary and Colin Schooling did all they can to support him. This includes sending him for a bone test to calculate growth potential and gauge his future in the sport. They sacrificed precious family time to stay by his side as Joseph trained under the rigorous tutelage of swimmers and coaches from Australia.

Despite Joseph being an only child, his parents sent him to study and train at prestigious swimming college The Bolles School in the US to pursue his life-long dream. As he continues to rewrite swimming records, his family helps to write other important chapters in his life.

All parents encourage their children to strive. A word of encouragement inculcates a healthy self-esteem and helps your child face the challenges of life. Sometimes, though, saying nothing means everything. Colin Schooling customised swim training aids and sent them over to Florida. These include the swim parachute to increase drag resistance and build strength during training. He had been making DIY swimming aids for his son since Joseph was a child. The drag chute is, by far, the most complex. He did it nonetheless because he wanted the best for his child.

Behind every great achievement is a strong man. And behind every strong man is a stronger family.

Tags: Family Bonding /Parent-Child Relationships