Especially on the world’s biggest sporting stage.
Singaporean Joseph Schooling did just that when he won the Olympics 100m butterfly swimming race.
The 21-year-old clocked 50.38 secs, setting a new Olympic record time, and winning Singapore its first-ever gold medal.
In the process, the local lad defeated decorated American swimmer Michael Phelps, who came in at 51.14 – tied with South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh.
Commenting on the win, Schooling said:
“I’m really honoured and privileged to swim alongside some of these great names, people who changed the face of our sport.”
Fortunately, Singaporeans were able to catch this record triumph live at on TV.
That prospect looked doomed as local broadcaster Mediacorp refused to cough up the cash for the live broadcast rights to the Games, and the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth publicly washed its hands off any involvement.
But in a turn of events as unexpected as Schooling’s golden win, our local broadcaster at the last minute managed to snag a cut-price deal with rights-holder Dentsu.
Singaporeans at home who caught the win on TV were naturally ecstatic.
Said Mdm Lee Ping, who possibly still had the National Day Celebrations at the back of her mind:
“There was a time when people said that Singapore won’t make it… but we did!”