Grezel Alcuitas (badminton).
An athlete’s path to glory
Edu Jarque (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2017 - 10:40pm

MANILA, Philippines - For every single victory, there are several disappointing defeats. For every desired and coveted trophy, a number of empty-handed attempts. This is a reality of life.

We cheer — with uncontrolled adulation — the student athletes, exhausted as they gasp for breath in their moment of triumph, amidst crowds, within the short minutes or hours of their trials. We roar in applause, and perceive them to be super human — truly invincible — worthy of every moment of focused training.

This is all part of the daily grind of devoted sacrifices and dedicated perseverance necessary for what it takes to be an honest-to-goodness champion.

Lest we forget that before the craved for honor, certain undeniable snapshots reveal what hides behind the glory of winning the games, the countless weeks, and months of practice, the buckets of blood, sweat and tears, which all gainfully contribute to the yearned-for success.

Path to Glory is a photo exhibit to salute the men and women’s commitment reflective to their respective sport. The series of heart-warming images capture them on their individual uphill journey and the long hard struggle towards their eventual goals.

It is curated by architect Gerry Torres, and opened on Jan. 26 at the Sixth Floor Gallery of the School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).

The DLS-CSB has 21 teams, for starters, basketball, volleyball, badminton, football, lawn tennis, table tennis, arnis, fencing, taekwondo, athletics, chess, swimming, even ultimate Frisbee, and not to mention the pep squad. All are scholars who responsibly balance their studies with rigorous and intense training sessions every day.

“It gives the members of the community glimpses of the hardships of those who vie for the laurels,” shared Robin Serrano, Benilde’s VP for Advancement.

To drive home the message, Olympic wrestler and head coach American Dan Gable hit it the nail on the head when he once proclaimed “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”

Through the years, the school has produced stars in various arenas, clinched the NCAA Seniors’ General Championships trophies in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015.

It has likewise produced Export Management graduate and Olympian Kirstie Elaine Alora who competed in taekwondo in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The present college director of the Center for Sports Development Stephen Fernandez participated in the same event in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. 

The lensman behind this project is Miguel Sy, a graduate of the college’s Bachelor of Arts in Photography, a program established in 2007 and the only course of its kind in the country. He has been mentored under esteemed photographers such as Veejay Villiafranca, Andy Spyra and Thies Rätzke. Miguel specializes in photojournalism and advertorial photography and has traveled to Cambodia and Nigeria for special assignments. He now manages his own 361 Degrees Studio.

Path to Glory, which will run until March 25, is produced by the Center for Partnership and Resource Management (CPRM) and Center for Sports Development (CSD) through the Center for Campus Art (CCA).

The exhibit is made possible through the collaboration of the Smart Communications, Inc., a constant supporter through the years, and the Office of the Vice President for Advancement.

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