Singaporean photographer accurately points out what’s wrong with Schooling’s win

TL;DR –  If you prick us, do we not bleed?

You might have heard of New York-based photographer Zhang Jingna or zemotion as she is widely known as who hails from Singapore and has put Singapore on the photography world map with her works in Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar and clients which include TRESemmé, Mercedes-Benz and Canon.


You might also know about her air riffle days – she was part of the Singapore National Team and had represented Singapore at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in 2005 and the Commonwealth Games in 2006. Zhang was awarded Sports Girl of the Year 2006 by the Singapore National Olympic Council.



As we celebrated Schooling’s triumph Gold at the Rio Olympics over the weekend, Zhang wrote a post on Facebook about her experience with xenophobia in Singapore (the Singapore citizen was born in Beijing before moving to Singapore when she was 8). The post is rather long, so we thought we would summarise it for you:

1) There is always two sides to a story

Schooling’s story is “golden and idealistic” but what if he was indeed sent to the US on Singapore’s dime and a) didn’t win, b) never came back, or c) quit. Would people then change their tune and blame the government for wasting money on a Singaporean who wasn’t trained on Singapore soil, by Singaporean coaches?

2) “We should just cultivate locals” is easy to say

If you had children, chances are that most of you would hesitate to believe and invest in your child to go into sports or the arts, because it’s risky, unproven and with little chance of returns. You want them to have a stable, happy life, a secure job, that’s only natural.

3) Your grandparents or great grandparents were probably not born in Singapore too

“I sure hope your grandparents and theirs don’t hear you saying this. It’s heartbreaking.”

4) People don’t get to choose where they were born

Or what skin colour they’re born with.

5) And finally…

This epic closing,

At the end of the day, we are all the same on the inside—flesh and blood and bones, and a heart that’s only trying to find our places in the world.

Here’s the entire post in full:

(Cover image via)

Author: Flora Isabelle Lim

On a constant quest to be a really professional internet person.

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