September 27, 2021 – Tokyo 2020 medalists Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, and other members of the Olympic delegation provided inspiration to aspiring student-athletes during the recently-held Pinoy Sports Heroes: The Ultimate Balik-Eskwela Pinoy Sports Con of the Department of Education (DepEd).

During the virtual sports con, Diaz, the first-ever Filipino Olympic gold medalist, imparted how sports changed her life while encouraging learners to continue pursuing their dreams.

“Gusto ko lang pong sabihin sa lahat ng mga estudyante na alam kong mahirap, mahirap ang pinagdadaanan natin. Learn to adopt. Estudyante rin po ako [ngayon], at nahihirapan din po ako pero ako kasi hindi ako sumuko [sa mga pagsubok] kasi gusto kong magkaroon ng degree. Someday or next year, sana magkaroon na ako ng degree,” Diaz said.

“Puwede nating i-reach ‘yong dream natin basta we really have to be consistent sa ginagawa natin. Sumunod sa teachers kasi alam nila kung ang tama. Then, surround yourself with people that will help you, ‘yong may good influence sa’yo… Then, trust God. Trust in yourself and trust the people behind you,” she added.

Meanwhile, being the first-ever female Olympic medalist in boxing in Philippine history, Petecio stated that this 2020 Olympic stint gave her a chance to prove herself to everyone that she could be on the podium through hard work.

“Sobrang blessed po na binigyan ako ni Lord ng pagkakataon na ipakita sa lahat na kung ano ang kaya kong gawain, [at] kung ano ‘yong kaya kong patunayan hindi lang sa sarili ko kun’di sa lahat ng tao kaya soaring saya ko po at proud po ako [na i-represent ang Pilipinas],” Petecio shared.

Boxing Olympic medalists Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial, finalist Carlos Edriel Yulo (Gymnastics), Margielyn Didal (Skateboarding), and EJ Obiena (Pole Vault), and Paralympic swimmer Gary Bejino also revealed the journey of their respective careers.

The Pinoy Sports Heroes activity is a collaboration project of the Bureau of Learner Support Services’ School Sports Division and Youth Formation Division under the Administration strand of Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua to motivate learners and student-athletes amidst the pandemic.

“Speaking of world-class athletes, with the recent accomplishments of our country’s delegates to the Tokyo Summer Olympics, particularly the medalists who made history and gave the Philippines its best Olympic showing ever. The youth for sure would be inspired with their experiences and stories, from their humble beginnings to their success in their respective sports,” Undersecretary Pascua said.