(IMAGE FROM MONTY MENDIGORIA)
Every time her mother is mentioned in interviews or any simple conversation, Cebuana Margielyn Arda Didal couldn’t help but cry.
She would do anything for her family, especially for her mom who earns a living selling “kwek-kwek” (fried egg wrapped in flour).
On Tuesday in the South Sumatran provincial capital of Indonesia, the 19-year-old Didal hit big time by winning the18th Asian Games women’s street skate gold at the JSC Skate Park.
For the first time, the Philippine national anthem was proudly played inside the sprawling Jakabaring Sports City.
“I am very happy I did my best. Sobra ang saya po, lalung –lalo na sa mga skateboarders natin,” said the Cebuana pride whose triumph would net her a total of windfall of P6 million in incentives from the government and private patrons.
“Bibigay ko po sa nanay ko para makapagtayo kami ng small business,” said Didal of her plans of giving her bonus to her mom, a sidewalk vendor who plies her trade near the Concave Skate Park in Lahug, Cebu City where the athlete was discovered by coach Danny Gutierrez seven years ago.
Mom may still choose to do “kwek-kwek’ business, but this time, as the biggest distributor in Cebu.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas and POC chairman Bambol Tolentino, who went straight from the airport to the venue, arrived just in time to witness the former street kid go from strength to strength in garnering an untouchable top score of 30.4 points for her smashing Asian Games debut.
Japan’s Isa Kaya placed a distant second with 25.0 points from the combined two runs and two top tricks with 25.0 for silver while 12-year-old Nyimas Bunga of Indonesia took the bronze with a tally of 19.8 in this captivating millennial sport making its maiden appearance in the quadrennial, 45-nation sportsfest.
“We have no doubt na makukuha ni Margie ang gold medal. I have always believe in her,” said Monty Mendigoria, president of the Philippine Skateboarding Federation and the Philippine Rollersports Federation.
Indeed, sports can change one’s life.