Schooling cheered on like a pop star
Thousands take to the streets to celebrate the nation's first Olympic Gold medallist Joseph Schooling on his victory parade
The thousands that turned up was reminiscent of K-pop fans meeting their idol. They screamed, they carried posters and they asked for autographs and selfies.
But this was no K-pop star, it was swimmer Joseph Schooling, Singapore's first Olympic Gold medallist.
Standing on top of the open-deck bus yesterday, he toured the city on a 24km victory parade from Kallang Leisure Park to Raffles City, with stops at Marine Terrace and Singtel Comcentre Plaza.
CELEBRATION: Joseph Schooling rouses the crowd as the bus travels through Marine Terrace. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
Along the way, cars honked and windows were rolled down as waves and beaming smiles followed. And people from all walks of life dotted the streets cheering.
At Marine Terrace Market, little children dedicated their artwork to him as the elderly jostled just to get a glimpse of the 21 year-old sportsman.
In the crowd was Jaelyn Ho, five, a K1 pupil from Kinderland Preschool and Kindergarten, who managed to present her school's artwork.
Jaelyn said: "I was very happy and very excited to present it."
CELEBRATION: A driver stops to take a photo of Schooling. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
The moment was even sweeter for her because Schooling had been from her school, according to the school, and was the one teachers always talked about.
The adulation continued at the next stop at Singtel Comcentre Plaza.
As the bus whizzed past Orchard Central, a man in chef's attire clanked a ladle onto a pot just to get a second of his attention.
HAPPY: Students are all smiles after meeting Joseph Schooling. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
Drivers were so enamoured that two accidents almost happened after two cars got a little too close to his bus, one right before Parkway Parade, and the other around the School of the Arts, at 1, Zubir Said Drive
The buzz continued on his last stop at Raffles City. Some among the 500-strong crowd shed tears when Schooling autographed their items.
And when the two comperes asked the crowd if they could remember his winning time, everyone yelled: "50.39".
Their timing, just like Schooling's, was perfect.
HAPPY: Pupils line a road at Tanjong Katong to show their support. TNP PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO