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Freeman Cebu Sports

Skateboard sensation Didal arrives to a hero's welcome

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Faster than the blink of an eye and quicker than a lightning flash, Margielyn Didal's life storyline took a 360-degree flip, just like a trick in skateboarding.

From a nondescript character, the dropout student of Lahug public school rose to a sporting phenomenon who won the hearts of many with his stirring exploits in the most recent intercontinental event held only once in four years.

A golden show in the women' street skateboarding in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia has completely changed the life of Didal in an instant.

For her, the fame she suddenly enjoyed was like a jolt of energy coming from a mighty source she never understood.

"Wa ko kasabot sa akong gibati pa ron.Wa ko nag-expect jud ani na welcome ang daghan nalipay,"said Didal, stunned by the circus of crowd that threw her a hero's welcome upon her arrival yesterday from her monumental triumph abroad that will surely force the Philippine sports officials to rechart their program that palpably tend to favor the prominent disciplines like basketball and boxing.

Phl placed only fifth in basketball despite the presence of NBA star Jordan Clarkson and the Pinoy boxers failed to medal in the past two Asian Games now that started in Incheon in 2014.

Didal, who was the flag bearer during the closing ceremonies of the Asiad, arrived in Manila last Monday wherein she received a warm welcome from sports officials of the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

After a night in Manila together with her sponsors and supporters, the 19- year-old Didal returned to her hometown Cebu City.

Didal was greeted by her parents and the rest of her family and some relatives, some local officials from Lahug and friends in and out of the skateboarding community.

At the Mactan Cebu International Airport, Didal could not contain her emotions upon seeing her parents again.

Didal who was first noticed during the SLS Skateboarding in London, hang on the medal to her mom Julie's neck to honor all the sacrifices she and her dad did for their family.

"Para gyud ni nila. Kung wala sila ,wala ko diri karon.Para pud ni sa tanan nga Cebuanos ug sa tanang mga skaters sa Cebu ug sa tanan sa Pilipinas,"Didal said.

A quick lunch at Waterfront Mactan Hotel was tendered to Didal's family. After which, they proceeded with a motorcade prepared by the city government for her from Lapu-Lapu to Cebu City.

"Sa Manila pa lang, daghan na ni sugat nakong camera, nya karon na pud pag-abot nako dri.Shy biya ko pero sige lang kaning Cebuana maski unsa kaya," added Margie.

Fellow Cebuanos greeted her along the route, which even her family could not believe.

"Di gihapon ko makatuo nga nahitabo ni ron.Unsa ra gud mi. Una sa plano namo ani, balhin sa mi pero para siguro mapaayo among balay.Wa pa mi kabalo unsay mahitabo after. Huwat sa ming Margielyn kung unsay iya plano sa madawat na kwarta," said Didal's father Lito.

In incentives alone, Didal stands to receive close to P7 million, both from the government and private

Like her daughter, Lito felt an instant celebrity himself.

At the Lahug Elementary and Night High School, thousands of students including some of her former schoolmates waited for her arrival for some hours. She did not disappoint as Didal showed off some tricks that paved her way from rags to riches.

"Dako kog pasalamat na diri ko nagskwela ug maski sige ko'g cutting classes, inyo gihapon kong gisabot.Pero sa mga estudyante, ayaw ko sunda nga cutting pirmi.Skwela mog tarong pero kung unsa jud gusto ninyo buhaton sa kinabuhi, sunda ninyo,"said Margie.

Margie comes from a poor family. Her mom a 'kwek-kwek' and tempura vendor and her dad, a carpenter.

Her love for the sport eventually forced her to drop out from school. But promised her parents, who was first against it that she would one day give honors to them and the country.

And she did in an overwhelming manner.

Didal's victory is also shared by the rest of the extreme sports enthusiasts. Didal hopes that they get the rest acceptance to their sport already.

Margie, together with her parents, will be back in Manila today as they will be presented to the Senate tomorrow.

After a short rest, Margie will be going back to the US for more exposure as the POC hopes to send her to an Olympic qualifying event in Brazil on January.

“That’s why I’m here to explain to her parents, her family about Margie’s situation and what are our plans next. After all, this celebrations and recognitions, Margie needs to focus on her training again if she wants to be in the Olympics and have the Olympic gold no less,” said POC secretary-general Patrick Gregorio. (FREEMAN) 

MARGIELYN DIDAL

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