Unique father-daughter ritual works for taekwondo gold medalist Lopez
SINGAPORE — Pauline Lopez and her father Jun have a unique ritual every time she’s in competition: They don’t contact each other until it was over.
“That’s how we are me and my dad, they (family) have never seen me fight internationally. No contact until after the fight,” said the pretty, pleasant head-turner who claimed the women’s 57kg gold in taekwondo Sunday night.
READ: SEA Games: 4 late victories end PH drought
“We have been doing it and it worked well,” said Lopez whose dad is former PH jin back in the 80s. “I know very well that the support and love is there.”
In the final against Pham Thi Thu Hien, Lopez was a picture of a beast, deliberately breaking down her foe with crisp kicks and blows.
READ: Thailand rules SEA Games anew; Philippines 6th
The 2014 Asian Youth Games champ turned in a 20-12 decision for the last gold of the Philippines that day, and a much needed one at that as it pushed the country within a gold of matching last SEAG’s output.
“I can’t believe it. It feels good,” exclaimed Lopez after the bout and just before climbing the podium for the awarding ceremony at Singapore Expo Hall 2.
READ: 28th SEA Games Singapore 2015 Medal Tally
“There’s a lot of pressure and I was very nervous, but at the same time I remember all the hard work I put in, no matter the results, I know God is there with me,” said Lopez.
Lopez took a year off school to train. She’s set to start college this school year but she’s still weighing options from the offers from the schools in both the United States and the Philippines.
“I hope to speak with my family as soon as I get a wifi,” she said. CFC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.