More Than All The Hype, Margielyn Didal Reminds Us That Puso Will Always Win

“Skateboarding is life but rice is lifer.”

Following her historic run of skateboarding at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Margielyn Didal and her cheerful demeanor continues to charm, this time with the release of her fresh New Balance signature colorway, the NB Numeric 272 inspired by one of Cebu’s best, the puso.

“As a kid that was mostly lambasted for my interest in skateboarding, I never imagined it would be part of the Olympic Games. It’s surreal to now be in Tokyo bearing witness to this milestone in the most unprecedented circumstances,” muses Tony Hawk on Instagram during the debut of the sport at the summer games. “A whole new generation will get to experience skateboarding with genuine public support and meaningful opportunity. I predict it will be one of the highlights from all the Olympic Games coverage this year. And I’m here for it.” Casual in its written rumination, his words proved prophetic because after the inaugural run, skateboarding, as well as of its assemblage of athletes were one of the runaway stars of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—Margielyn Didal included, who proudly repped the Philippines all the way down to the New Balance Numeric 379 kicks on her feet.

From the first ever gold medals awarded and most noteworthy, a strong showing from the female contingent, with teenaged girls sweeping the street event, the swell of female empowerment in the typically male-dominated sport was cause to celebrate. Sure, there was certainly a lot to talk about and take in from the heat of the meet, but emerging as a sunny spot in the qualifying and final rounds was none other than our very own skateboarding champ and pride, Margielyn Didal.

Photobombs aside, everyone was deeply charmed by the pride of Cebu, who endeared herself to the Olympic community and audience with her cheerful disposition, and yes, her candor, too. But above it all, despite the inevitable nature of the competition, it was the heart of Margielyn Didal that really made her a winner.

The Charm Of Margielyn Didal

Together with the pool of women athletes pulling away from the shadows of men, Margielyn Didal has carved out even more history at the Tokyo Olympics, this time for the Philippines. Now, while she may have ended her run without a medal on her neck, our lone female bet in the sport charmed audiences all over the world, proving that even in apparent defeat, the Filipino spirit still proves triumphant. Besides, even if we are abiding by technicalities, Margielyn Didal scored big, qualifying for the finals with her tricks and tenacity where she landed 7th overall. Not too shabby by a long shot.

Already highly-respected, and bemedalled, the unapologetically real Filipino athlete wowed the sea of supporters with her sunny disposition and unfiltered candor, reaching far and wide on social media, which included the official Twitter account of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympics. “This will be known as the ‘Margielyn Didal seal of approval,’” it wrote, followed by two Filipino flag emojis.

Earlier in the day, Tony Hawk himself posted an Instagram Story featuring Margielyn Didalyn sticking a landing during one her runs at the Tokyo Olympics. However, this wasn’t the first time the two would interface, because days prior, the legend and the rising star crossed paths, prompting for a photo opportunity. “This guy asked me to take a photo with him and I let him because he looks like Tony Hawk,” she captioned.

Meeting one of the best? Casual.

No Tricks, Just Talent

It comes to no surprise that since her time in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Margielyn Didal has been featured on many platforms, including the By Her Rules series of the Olympic Channel, as well as of spots with H&M and of course, New Balance. For the Olympian, it’s all about making the most of the moment, representing, and yes, having fun.

Walking her talk since day one, often with hands raised and tongue sticking out at times, the Filipino athlete was all about wearing the colors and spirit of the Philippines in everything she did. In fact, if you looked closely at her Olympic fit, Margielyn Didal sported the very first sneaker she designed with New Balance in the popular NM379 skateboarding silhouette. “The most important feature on my first NB Numeric shoe was to include the Philippine flag because it represents me as a Filipina, which I’m very proud of,” she says in an interview with Hypebeast. Apart from the flag, the minimal, mostly gray pair she stomped around in at the Ariake Urban Sports Park also sported red and blue accents, as well of a prominent white sole. Simple as it was, it proved to be quite popular because Margielyn Didal’s New Balance Numeric 379’s sold out fast.

As one of only 20 athletes in the NB Numeric team roster, the relationship of Margielyn Didal and New Balance continues, this time in the Numeric 272. Unlike the first sneaker she designed with the brand, the yet-to-be-released pair is even closer to her heart.

Kicking It In Style

Bringing it closer to home, as in pulling from the early days of selling Cebuano delicacies with her mom near a skate park in Cebu, Margielyn Didal imprints her memories on the New Balance Numeric 272. More than just hype, she lays out her heart on the silhouette of the shoe, draping it with the imagery of the very visceral staple in the food culture of the island, the puso (technically spelled out as pusô). While many have come across these bundles of hanging bundles of steamed rice housed in a diamond-shaped chassis of woven coconut leaves, Margielyn Didal holds this close to who she is, crediting it to what helped lead her to the sport that has given her so much.

“It’s like me cause I love rice, I can’t live without rice,” shares Margielyn Didal of her New Balance Numeric 272 signature. “My inspiration for my new shoes is the ‘pusô’, it is made of rice covered with coconut leaves. You see the details on the side, when you touch it, it’s like holding the pusô,” While she says she cannot make one the way her mom does, she sure can detail it like it nobody’s business. Just like the puso, there is a lot of heart in the new colorway of the Filipino Olympian.

Where the sneaks are mostly black, a juxtaposition of khaki panels meant to mimic the laced panels of the fragrant coconut fronds stand out, with additional elements stamped across like her initials and the area code of Cebu on the heel tab, the woven pattern in the laces, and the puso graphic pressed and printed on the insole that make it very much an extension of Margielyn Didal. “Skateboarding is life but rice is lifer,” she writes on Instagram.

Puso, Always

With her take-me-as-I-am demeanor, as well as of her very relatable personality, Margielyn Didal has clearly made quite the impression even well after the Tokyo Olympics. From sharing laughs with her contemporaries, striking quirky poses before her turn, to making time for TikToks, to now kicking it with her puso-inspired New Balance Numeric 272, she was, and still is definitely a whole mood, which was a welcome break from the heightened pressure and intensity of the games and well, life in general.

“Whatever the result is, ey, proud to be Filipino,” the Olympian expressed in a video snippet during the athletic tournament, punctuated by her endearing smile. Wearing the colors of the Philippines proudly from top to bottom, she showed the rest of the world that win or lose, you’ll still remember her, cheering her on in her future endeavors in the sport and in whatever path she tricks out.

If anything, Margielyn Didal just schooled us that more than hype, heart will win at the end of the day. Puso, always.