filipino athletes olympics

All The Lessons We Learned From The Filipino Athletes At The Tokyo Olympics

Mabuhay ang atletang Pilipino!

An Olympics that was truly one for the books, we set aside the records broken and history made for a wee bit and hero the lessons learned from the Filipino athletes that brought honor to us all.

With the last batch of medals awarded, the flag of the games turned over, and that impressive display of lights in a show that could put Hogwarts to shame, the Olympics has officially come to a close. Now, while the closing ceremony has been done and dusted, and all sights are set to Paris 2024, there are still a lot of stories to tide us over until then. From records broken, bonds fostered, and legends made, the euphoria will take some time to settle, and rightfully so. In the Philippines for example, this historic year will forever be etched into our history. With the most successful showing since first joining the international sporting event in the 1924 Paris games, the persistence, passion, and purpose of the Filipino athletes in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 not only paid off, but was a source of inspiration, hope, and lessons learned. 

In a competitive campaign that saw 19 Filipino athletes qualify in 12 sports for the Tokyo Olympics, a hairline short of the 20 athletes sent to the 2000 summer games, the Philippines emerged as the most decorated country in Southeast Asia, ending the streak of Thailand with an impressive medal haul of one gold, two silvers, and one bronze. As remarkable as this drought-ending feat was, the Filipino Olympians left an indelible imprint that went beyond just their talent and tenacity. Athletic abilities aside, the Philippine team proved to be stars in their own right, capturing hearts with their grit and grace in and out of the games.


Raise The Flag

Yes, we will be forever remember and be reminded of the strong showing of Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial, and Carlo Paalam, but their success goes beyond the glint of metal hanging on their necks. Together with the rest of the Filipino athletes that proudly wore the colors and raised the flag of the Philippines at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, they all have imparted lessons that go beyond the five rings of the summer show of skill. Whether it was their intention to or not, these Filipino athletes left us with something more than just a lift in our spirits. In the game of life, the wisdom that they inadvertently showed was worth its weight in gold.

If their charm, character, and competitive nature, all of which endeared them to many at the Olympics are any indication, then watch out world, there is no messing with the Filipino athletes from here on out. Paris 2024, make no mistake about, team Philippines will win big.

Mabuhay ang atletang Pilipino!

Get your dose of hope and inspiration from these nuggets of wisdom and lessons learned from Filipino athletes at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

“When the times na gusto ko nang sumuko dahil sa dami ng pagsubok na pinagdaanan, kaya natin, kaya nating mga Pilipino…’Wag tayong sumuko, kahit anong challenges and trials ‘yan, manalangin tayo kay God, maga-guide siya sa atin.”—Hidilyn Diaz

Come back better, stronger

“Sa Paris po, babawi po talaga ako. Like, tapos na po ‘yung, hindi naman po paglalaro, pagsubok na makapag-Olympics po…Next time po, like, iga-grab ko na po talaga. Ayoko na po ‘yung basta sumali ako. Like, na-feel ko na kaya ko ring maging katulad nung mga nakatayo dun sa top.”—Carlos Yulo

If you believe you’re right, fight for it

“I’ve been raised to be a timid kind of guy but I’ve always believed that if I’m on the right place or I truly believe I’m right, I’d fight for it. That’s basically what I did. It just so happened that it’s an Olympic final and it a spotlight and got the attention. But I do it every single day.”—EJ Obiena

Don’t ever forget where you came from

Itong medal na ito ay simbolo ng buhay ko. Isa akong mangangalakal at itong medalya ay gawa sa mga sirang gadget po. Sa basura siya galing, kaya nai-connect ko po siya sa buhay ko.”—Carlo Paalam

In the heat of the competition, don’t forget to cheer others on and just have fun

“We’re here for each other. We cheer for each other, that’s what skateboarding is…Wala, ine-enjoy ko lang kasi ‘yong event. Y’know, being Margie. But like, ‘di ko alam na may mag-screenshot ng mga kalokohan ko.”—Margielyn Didal

Dreams know no gender

Sobrang proud ako na member ako ng LGBTQ [community], ‘di ko po tinatanggi ‘yun. Kahit ano gender natin, basta may pangarap tayo, laban tayo…Para rin po sa LGBTQ community ang laban na ‘to.”—Nesthy Petecio

In any situation, always look for the good

“When you have bad situations, always try to look at the glass half-full. You a always take something positive away from a negative situation.”—Kristina Knott

With every win worth it, the fight continues

Hindi man gold nakuha ko, ang tingin ko doon is gold na rin. Noong pagkuha ko ng medal, talagang inangat ko ‘yung medal…’Yung pangarap ko na makuha ‘yung gold, hanggang ngayon nandito pa po ‘yun sa akin. Talagang pinapangarap ko ‘yun simula pagkabata.”—Eumir Marcial