Voice of the sport
TAGAYTAY—For Filipino skateboarding star Margielyn Didal, every competition isn’t just a chance to bring glory to the country.
It’s also an opportunity to use her platform to speak up on the plight of her sport in the Philippines.
After bagging her second gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last Saturday, the Cebu-born Didal took the microphone and made another case for the sport that has catapulted her to stardom.
“We’re always on the streets, people say we don’t have a future,” the 20-year-old Didal said in Filipino.
“When we go to the mall, we can’t even bring our board. Even in the LRT, we can’t bring our board. But look at the sport that you always look down on, it has delivered medals for you. Do not belittle those kids who skate on the streets because they are the future of our sport and they will raise our flag.”
Didal knows she’s not just the sport’s biggest star in the country, but also its best ambassador. She had already reiterated her appeal for a top-notch skate facility in the country so she won’t need to travel overseas all the time to train and compete.
“I wasn’t able to spend Christmas with my family last year because I was training abroad,” Didal said. “Instead of leaving the country, I’m hoping I can actually train here.”
Following a SEA Games campaign that saw her lead a 1-2 finish for the Philippines with Christiana Means in both the game of skate and her favorite street event at Tagaytay Skate Complex here, Didal is setting her sights on the biggest competition of them all: the Tokyo Olympics next year.
There will be little time to rest for Didal, currently ranked No. 13 in the world, as she resumes her qualifying bid in Peru this month.
“It’s a hectic schedule, but we’re really planning to bring Margie to all these events but some of it is in South America, in the United States, so it costs us a lot of money. Sometimes, we have to pick and choose,” said Didal’s manager, Anthony Claraval.
“But Margie has a lot of drive. It’s her dream to represent the Philippines, her dream to be a professional skateboarder and she’s realizing that dream. She’s got a lot of natural talent. Unfortunately the Philippines doesn’t have the facilities so she has to travel all the time and that’s the hardest part about it.”
Didal should already be in the Olympics if the qualification ended now as the Top 20 skaters in the world will be competing in the Japanese capital.