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Thursday, September 19, 2019

A full turn for Didal

LIFE TAKES A FULL TURN. Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal is welcomed by her parents Julie and Lito Didal and her friends from Barangay Lahug. (SunStar Photo/Allan Cuizon)

CEBUANA skater Margielyn Didal has arrived in Cebu after winning the gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games and was warmly welcomed by the Cebuanos with a motorcade that capped off at the Lahug Elementary School yesterday.

The Lahug, Cebu City-native Didal was overwhelmed with hundreds of people in attendance when she arrived at her former school.

“I encourage you all to pursue what you want. I’m thankful for this school na part ko diri and bisag medyo badlungon ko. Ako lang ika-advise is sunda inyo gusto or kung unsa inyo passion para di mo magmahay (that I was part of despite being bad sometimes. My advice is follow what you want or whatever your passion is so you won’t have any regrets),” Didal addressed the students.

The Cebuana heroine rose to popularity after placing eighth in the Street League Skateboarding (SLS) Pro Open London Women’s Qualifier last May 26 in London, United Kingdom. She went on to win a stint in the X-Games in the United Sates, and eventually the gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

Didal, whose parents work as a carpenter and a kwek-kwek vendor, bagged the fourth gold medal for the Philippines after ruling the women’s Street Skateboarding.

Her life is bound to change as she is set to receive at least P6 million in cash as an incentive for winning the gold medal.

Aside form the P2 million from the National Government through Republic Act 10699, she will also receive another P2 million from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), P1 million from Siklab Foundation and another P1 million from the Philippine ambassador to Indonesia Lee Hiong Wee. The local government of Cebu City will also shell out P300,000 as cash incentive.

“I never expected that skateboarding would change her life. At first I was against it, but she pursued it and eventually was winning in the tournaments that she joined in,” her mother Julie said in Cebuano. “I think that this was really her destiny.”

“I did not expect that this many people would come here. We were informed that there would be a program but did not really imagine to seeing a lot of people waiting for her,” she said.

Patrick Gregorio, the secretary general of POC, said that he came with Didal in Cebu to show support and also to explain to Didal’s family the competitions she will be joining in preparation for the biggest event—the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“She needs to stay focused always because there’s a bigger goal. She knows that very well. I’m here to talk to the family and parents so I can explain to them the schedule of their daughter. So that they can help Margie stay focused,” said Gregorio.

Didal will be joining the Olympics qualifier in January next year in Brazil to get one of the 20 slots to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, the Cebu City Council commended and extended their congratulations to the Cebuano athletes who recently bagged medals in this year’s Asian Games.

In an approved resolution, the City Council commended and congratulated Cebuano Asian Games gold medalist skateboarder Margielyn Didal for bringing pride to Cebu and to the country. (RSC with RVC)


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