CEBUANA skateboarder Margielyn Arda Didal gets another feather on her cap after making it to the list of Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018.
The 19-year-old Didal had a rough and humble start in her extreme sport career before getting noticed in the international scene with an eighth-place finish in the Street League Skateboarding (SLS) Pro Open in London, United Kingdom last May.
Her popularity soared further some three months after, winning a gold medal in the Street Skateboarding in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, where the Philippines won a total of four gold medals.
Didal, a native of Lahug, Cebu City, believed that these things happened because she stayed true to herself and remained passionate on her craft despite adversities.
“I want to inspire the youth, to tell them that the dream can be achieved with hard work and prayers from God. Although there are a lot of struggles in life, but still just enjoy it,” Didal told SunStar Cebu in Cebuano.
Didal had her own struggles and one of them was the challenge of skating on the road since there was no skatepark in Cebu. Because of her, more kids are getting into the extreme sport and the city is now building a skatepark.
Didal, whose parents are street food vendors, did not even have her own skateboard when she started. But she persevered and the rest is history.
“It just made me proud that a Bisdak (a native of the Cebuano-speaking provinces of the Visayas and Mindanao) has been included in the Top 25 influential teens in the whole world,” said Didal.
Didal came off a solid stint in the US with a gold medal in the Pro Street category of the 7th Annual Exposure Women Skate in California last month.
She’s now preparing for the SLS Finals in Brazil in January next year, which is one of the qualifying and ranking events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.
Didal said she is going to the US next week to continue her training.
According to Time, its selection is spread across numerous fields and considers the person’s “global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news.”
Quoted by Time, Didal said that she is looking forward to winning the Philippine’s first Olympic gold as she targets to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She also said she wants to build a new generation of skaters in the future.
Here is the complete list from Time website.
Marley Dias, 13
Rishab Jain, 14
Marsai Martin, 14
Millie Bobby Brown, 14
Storm Reid, 15
Thandiwe Abdullah, 15
Bhad Bhabie, 15
Greta Thunberg, 15
NCT Dream, 16-19
Billie Eilish, 16
Isabel and Melati Wijsen, 16, 17
Ahed Tamimi, 17
Tania Speaks, 17
The Parkland students, 18-19
Kavya Kopparapu, 18
Adut Akech, 18
Jace Norman, 18
Chloe Kim, 18
Jack Cable, 18
Amika George, 19
Margielyn Didal, 19
Kylian Mpabbé, 19
Kiernan Shipka, 19
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 19
Joey King, 19