The Philippines has been known as a country rich in festivals and natural resources up today. Aside from it, it also creates a huge name in Olympics. In fact, it made its Olympic debut in 1924. From that year, the sports in the country had become a thing until some Filipino athletes became representatives on the international sports arena – like the Olympics. A lot of Filipinos also started to have a culture of supporting these athletes through watching them in the comfort of their houses, condominiums or anywhere. With the inspiration the athletes are giving to Filipinos, more exceptional athletes represent the country through the years. And with the recent 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, four more Filipinos including Hidilyn Diaz have proved again how strong Filipinos are in terms of sports. From the first Filipino who competed in the Olympics, here are some of the promising athletes who brought back medals in the country.
Teófilo Yldefonso is a Filipino swimmer who became the first in the Philippines and first in Southeast Asia who won a medal in the 1928 Summer Olympics. He competed in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke and won a bronze. After this historic moment, he also bagged another medal in the 1932 Summer Olympics. He also became the first Filipino who did multiple wins in the competition.
Simeon Galvez Toribio
In 1930, Toribio was awarded as “Asia’s Greatest Athlete”. He was a Filipino jumper who took home the bronze medal for the men’s high jump in 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States. He also competed in 1928 and 1936. He acted as the flag bearer for the Philippines at the 1936 Games where he finished 12th.
Born and raised in Binondo, Manila, Jose Villanueva, an amateur boxer, became one of the athletes who competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics. He represented the country in the men's bantamweight boxing event. He bagged the bronze medal and defeated Joseph Lang.
Another track and field Filipino athlete competed in the Olympics and won a medal. He is Miguel White, who is a Filipino-American citizen raised in Legazpi, Albay. White competed in 400 metre hurdles at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.He won the bronze medal and defeated the Canadian John Loaring. This athlete became a Philippine scout and he faced a tragic episode in his life as he was killed in a military action during the Japanese invasion.
Anthony Villanueva is the son of Jose Villanueva. Just like his father, he was also a boxer. He competed in the featherweight division at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. He won a silver medal against a Soviet boxer named Stanislav Stepashkin. The game became controversial as the decision was booed by the audience. The 19-year-old boxer became an actor and a boxing coach in the country. He died because of a stroke.
After Villanueva, Leopoldo Serantes made the Philippines get another Olympic medal after 24 years. Serantes was a former soldier and a professional boxer who competed in the light flyweight division in 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. He won a silver medal against Bulgarian boxer Ivailo Khristov. Serantes became the sixth Filipino who brought an Olympic medal home to the country.
Roel Velasco joined the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain and represented the Philippines. He competed in the light flyweight boxing division. He was defeated by Cuban representative Rogelio Marcelo in the semifinals and took home the silver medal for the country. Velasco was also the first Filipino to win a medal in the Goodwill games. He was able to snatch bronze medal in the light-flyweight division respectively in New York in 1998.
Next is Mansueto Velasco. Velasco or popularly known as “Onyok” is the older brother of Roel Velasco. He also competed in the men’s light flyweight division. Onyok was able to win against Taiwan’s Chih-Hsiu Tsai, Cuba's Yosvani Aguilera, Morocco's Hamid Berhili, and Spain's Rafael Lozano. He won the silver medal after a fight with Bulgaria's Daniel Petrov in the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. While doing his boxing profession, Onyok also started his television career in the country.
Being known as the youngest weightlifting competitor in her category in 2008 Olympics and bagging silver in 2016 Summer Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz has proven again that the country is good in sports worldwide. And just last July 26 this year in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, she finally snatched the first ever Gold Olympic medal for the country. She competed in the women's 55 kg category for weightlifting. Moreover, she is also now the first Filipino woman who won a medal in the Olympics.
Openly an LGBTQIIA+ boxing athlete, Nesthy Petecio became the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal in boxing. She bagged the silver medal after losing to Sena Irie through unanimous decision in women’s featherweight division at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. She was coached by former Olympic winner Roel Velasco. With her medal, the Philippines has finally received its Olympic boxing medal in 25 years.
Carlo Paalam is a Filipino amateur boxer in the country. The young boy is considered to be the 12th in the men’s flyweight division at the Amateur International boxing Association rankings. He is also a gold medalist in 30th South East Asian Games light flyweight division. He made his debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. He placed second and bagged the silver medal in the men's flyweight boxing event. He lost to British Boxer Galai Yafai in a 4-1 split decision.
Eumir Marcial is also one of the four Filipino Olympic athletes who brought home medals in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Marcial is also considered to be an amateur boxer in the country. He was given the awards such as the Best Asia Youth Boxer of the Year in 2014. He also won the gold medal in the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships. Marcial may not be qualified for the 2015 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he has finally bagged the bronze medal in 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
With all of the best Olympic athletes of the Philippines, this just shows how promising and dedicated they are in showing how great Filipinos are in Sports. They did not just show how tough it is to bring back medals for the country, but they also showed their stories of struggles and perseverance in achieving their dreams. They did it not only for them, but for the pride and honor of the country.
Based on the stories of success of the Filipino Olympic athletes, they deserve to also be rewarded with the comfort of living in a perfect home like condominium and being secured for their future. In Vista Residences, they offer the best convenience, comfortability and security through condo living. With all of its condos across the country’s premier universities, developed business districts and sports training areas, the athletes and even anyone can have pretty much advantage in everything.
Vista Residences is the condominium arm of Vista Land. Since its launch in 2003, it has become a formidable player in the fast-growing vertical development sector of the real estate industry. It continues to address the rising demand for condominium living with over 50 projects across the country’s key cities and business districts, perfect for students, investors, and young professionals.
For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.