Long, hard road to Paralympics bronze
SEPANG—It wasn’t the best nine-hour stretch Josephine Medina had to take.
Traveling from Pattaya, Thailand, on Monday, after her gold medal-winning conquest in the 2016 Thailand Para Open, she had to endure a three-hour van ride to Bangkok and fly to Malaysia for another three hours.
She arrived at her hotel at 1 a.m. on Tuesday before finding out that she had to transfer to another hotel 30 minutes away.
The 46-year-old Medina finally settled down at 3 a.m., woke up at 7:30 and prepared for another weeklong stretch of work.
“I’ve been through worst,” she said.
Stricken with polio when she was only eight months old, it has been a long road for the Bicolana paddler.
Inspired by her father, former national team member Roberto Medina, to take the sport, Medina initially saw table tennis as a therapy for her.
Little did she know that it would take her to lengths she never imagined.
Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games, with the elder Medina passing away on May 2004 in Saudi Arabia without having the chance to witness his daughter compete.
“I feel his presence with me,” she said.
But Medina wagered on, training to be the best and even beating able-bodied athletes along the way, showing that disability is never a hindrance for anyone to show their true worth.
After her fourth-place finish in the 2012 London Paralympics, she knew she had to pull out all the stops to be at her peak.
Her hard work paid off as Medina copped the bronze in the women’s singles–class 8 in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, snapping the drought since powerlifter Adeline Dumapong’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Games.
“In everything you do, you do your best and good things will follow,” she said.
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