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With Olympics still a pipe dream, Ochoa picks battles she can win

/ 05:15 AM December 28, 2019

Most national athletes have the Olympic Games as their ultimate goal.

For Meggie Ochoa, an Asiad bronze medalist, world champion, and recently a Southeast Asian Games gold winner in the sport of jiujitsu, that remains a dream.

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At least for now.

“That’s one goal,” she told the Inquirer shortly after a fundraiser with Freedom Sunday network and its beneficiary organizations. “But [jiujitsu] has yet to be made an Olympic sport.”

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Ochoa, 29, keeps herself busy continuing her work with “Fight to Protect”—her advocacy against online sexual exploitation of children.

But the goal of competing at the grandest multisport stage known to man remains within the periphery, well-“integrated” in her fight for children’s safety.

“It’s not like there’s a shift from [competing] to fighting for these children—or the other way around,” she said.

And she’s not merely waiting for the Olympics to calendar her sport. She keeps herself active, splitting her time on both advocacy and competition equally.

“Next year, I’ll be competing in more international tournaments. But the first one I could think about is the World Professional Jiujitsu Championship in Abu Dhabi in April. Then there’s Asian Championships, but we haven’t [threshed out details] on that yet,” Ochoa said.

“I feel like as I work doubly harder, I win even more. That way, I am given the greater capacity to help,” she added. “That’s been my mind-set.”

And it’s something she was able to pick up in the SEA Games.

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“We won as one—as overall champions. This time, we unite as one. Fight as one,” Ochoa said.

And she is hoping that a positive byproduct of her advocacy will be her sport’s inclusion in the Olympics someday.

“By showing the international Olympic community that jiujitsu makes this positive impact, perhaps we could bat that it’s worth turning into an Olympic sport,” she said.

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