TWO Saturdays ago was a golden moment for a doctor who helps athletes produce gold medals.

Rhoel James Timothy O. Dejaño, M.D. turned 50. It was a golden celebration as hundreds of family members (who flew in from the U.S.), friends, colleagues and sportsmen converged at Cebu GrandCon.

Before the party started, Dr. Dejaño ran from his home in Guadalupe and was recorded and broadcasted live on the large screen.

He changed from sportswear to black suit and was loudly cheered — like an Olympian entering the arena.

The ballroom transformed into the Rio de Janeiro Olympic stadium: the five Olympic rings served as a backdrop as samba beaters, dancesport performers and a top DJ played for Doc DJ.

“I was not just celebrating my birthday but also my recent graduation from the IOC Diploma Course in Sports Medicine as well as my election as president of the Philippine Academy of Rehabiltation Medicine,” said Dr. Dejaño of the triple celebration. “The presence of many friends in the sporting community made me feel so honored and humbled.”

Fifty is the new 30, he says. “I thank the Lord that I have reached this age although I feel as if I’m still half my age. Haha,” he said. “Seriously, I feel so blessed. I’ve realized the importance of wisdom and experience.

I am more comfortable with my age than when I was younger because then, I did not have a clear direction in life.

I also have a better appreciation for life and health. I take care of myself by eating the right food and by exercising.”

Dr. Dejaño plays tennis, time permitting, almost daily. He plays two doubles matches or one singles game although, he says, “I try not to overplay because I know I can get injured anytime.”

(In which case, the top rehab doctor will have to do rehab on himself.) “Playing tennis especially after a busy day,” he adds, “relieves stress and makes me relax.”

To him, sport is important personally and professionally.

“Sport is part of the life I live,” he said. “Being in sports as an athlete or as a medical practitioner has been an integral ingredient in my day to day dealings. Sports helped me develop self-discipline, willpower and respect for others. It shaped me to be a better person; not to settle for mediocrity but to always strive for greatness.

Above all, it has taught me the value of humility. No matter how good you are, there will always be somebody better than you. And that is an inspiration for me to be better everyday.”