The Cost Of An Olympian


What is the cost of creating an Olympic gold medal athlete? Beyond the grit and determination, it’s about the money. STORM looks at the cost to the individual to rise to the top. By Zhang SongQuan

To fund the golden journey of Joseph Schooling, the family sold their home to help pay for his overseas training. It is an expensive process to raise a world-class athlete, and the Schoolings shouldered the responsibility to deliver Singapore’s first Olympic gold medallist.

The 21-year old is a sophomore at the University of Texas, and studied in the US since the age of 14. He donned state colours at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.

Here are some established facts about the cost of training Joseph Schooling.

• The Schooling family sold their home and spent $1.35 million on his training.
• He received a Singapore Sports Excellence (SSE) scholarship, which paid $90,000 per annum.
• The scholarship from the University of Texas pays $124,500 per annum.

What is uncertain is when Schooling started to receive his SSE scholarship. Sport Singapore, the governing body, did not wish to comment. STORM has put together three possible scenarios that got Joseph Schooling onto the podium. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a costly exercise.

*All figures are in SGD

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