A Filipina nanny has been a ‘second mother’ to Singaporean Rio Olympic swimming gold medalist Joseph Schooling since 1997.
Yolanda Pascual or Auntie Yolly served the Schooling family for many years as a domestic helper. She never doubted Schooling’s talent.
“He never quite had a normal childhood – a sacrifice he made to get into the record books,” Pascual told The Straight Times.
Pascual acted as Schooling’s guardian during his early years in swimming.
“When I miss him, I read our messages (on the phone). He’s like my own son,” she added.
Pascual, 56, said Schooling is a dedicated and well-disciplined athlete, who made a lot of sacrifices just to get the biggest achievement in his whole life – Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal which he captured during the men’s 100-meter butterfly competition last week.
“When friends asked (him) to go out, he usually couldn’t because he had practice early the next day,” added Pascual, a mother of two daughters.
“He told me when he was very tired, I’d give him a massage. Even now, when he comes back, he still asks for massages and he’s still like the young boy he was before he left.”