Evita Elise P. Zamora: A silver that shines like gold

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

EVERY athlete plays to win the gold medal. Falling short of that goal, however, doesn't make one's efforts futile as every setback is a pathway for copping the coveted gold -- a badge of honor not only for the athlete but for the team he or she represents.

But for a national athlete, the stakes are higher as the level of competition is stiffer. An entire nation rejoices one's victory or suffers a defeat.

Evita Elise Paronda Zamora's silver medal finish in women's 52 kilograms event of the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games wushu competition in Myanmar is in itself a great achievement considering that it was her debut in the bi-ennial competition.

"Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing our national flag being raised during the awarding. It's my greatest achievement so far as a Filipino athlete," Vitz said in an e-mail interview with Sun.Star Davao.

The 23-year-old Davao City player, who hails from Obrero, succumbed to Thu Hoai Nguyen of Vietnam in the finals.

She added, "Masaya po ako sa silver medal but disappointed with my performance po. My Vietnamese opponent po kasi was an experienced fighter. Maraming beses ko na pong pinag-aralan ang laro niya but still kulang pa rin po talaga training and experience ko. Hirap po ako sa kanya even before and I expected din po na mas mahihirapan ako sa kanya. Dapat po I should've been more agressive and motivated during our second round, maybe, pag umabot po kami ng round 3 baka may chance pa po ako."

The Vietnamese was the same opponent who defeated Vitz in the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championships held in Makati, Philippines in August this year. The Dabawenya salvaged the bronze while Thu Hoai Nguyen went on to win the gold.

Vitz was born to parents Edmund and Nenita who separated when she was only two years old. She and her Kuya Evan were left to the care of their mother since then. She grew up playing different sports with her elder brother like basketball and billiards.

"I also watch sports news and live sports coverages on TV," she recalled.
She trained under Nell Jone Astudillo at the Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do since third year High School where she and her friends will proceed to the gym to train after classes. But when Astudillo shifted to American Bushido Kai Karate, Vitz continued to train under him until such time when busy college schedule at the University of Mindanao took a toll on her. So she ended up helping Astudillo as part of the officiating committee everytime he has an event.

Vitz, meanwhile, was lured to play wushu when she accepted to be a technical official of the VisMin Wushu Sanda Championships at the Gaisano Mall of Davao on April 13 to 15. The national team Chinese head coach insisted and forced her to join the competition even if she had no idea what Wushu Sanda is. She bagged the gold in her class that got her a spot in the national training pool.

She said, "I have to stop schooling because our head coach wants us to be a full time athlete. They invited me to join the training pool at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex right away."

She said Sir Nell, her coach in King's Sword Martial Arts, encouraged her to take the opportunity as her

Abka Philippines family, friends, classmates and family inspired her to take the invitation. She also cited her DJ friends from Magic 89.1 and Rod Rodriguez and lawyer T for helping her make a decision.

Since she joined the national team, Vitz had also won a silver in the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission National Games held in Dumaguete City on May 30 to June 5, 2012, and a bronze in the World Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia held Nov. 1 to 5, 2013.

The five-foot-six Dabawenya said she hopes to win a gold in an international competition and dreams to be like a sports caster like Dyan Castillejo or be a public servant through sports.

Vitz quoted a verse in the Holy Bible, Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me" as her guiding principle in life.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 15, 2013.


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