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Margielyn Didal hopes skateboarding reputation changes after Olympics debut

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 08:23 PM August 04, 2021
Philippines' Margielyn Arda Didal competes in the women's street preliminary round during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Sports Park Skateboarding in Tokyo on July 26, 2021.

Philippines’ Margielyn Arda Didal competes in the women’s street preliminary round during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Sports Park Skateboarding in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. (Photo by Jeff PACHOUD / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—Margielyn Didal’s debut in the Olympics may not have produced a medal but her impact outside of Tokyo was surely felt.

While she became a social media darling in Brazil, her influence in her own country of the Philippines could be the start of a new sporting revolution.

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Didal hopes that skateboarding’s debut in the Tokyo Olympics could lead to Filipino children taking up the sport and the society looking at it in a different light.

“The skate scene in the Philippines is really big already but I can’t really tell how big it is because skateboarding as a sport is kind of new,” said Didal in a virtual press conference. “I’ve been a skateboarder for nine, 10 years already and it’s grown big.”

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“It’s already big but I know it’ll get bigger because they included skateboarding in the Olympics.”

Philippines' Margielyn Arda Didal reacts as she competes in the women's street preliminary round during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Sports Park Skateboarding in Tokyo on July 26, 2021.

Philippines’ Margielyn Arda Didal reacts as she competes in the women’s street preliminary round during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Sports Park Skateboarding in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. (Photo by Jeff PACHOUD / AFP)

Didal was a trailblazer in the Philippine sporting scene becoming the first Filipino to join the X Games and was a gold medalist in both the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games.

Her World Skate ranking eventually put her in the Summer Games and it was on the international stage became a household name outside the Philippines.

The Tokyo Olympics’ social media accounts heavily pushed Didal as her antics and overall friendliness attached her to Brazil’s sporting community when she hit it off with women’s street silver medalist Rayssa Leal.

Didal further gained attention when her post with Tony Hawk, arguably the greatest skateboarder of all time, went viral.

The Cebu City native hoped that through the Olympic exposure that skateboarding will become more mainstream and not a sport shrouded under a negative reputation.

“I hope that it can be seen better, I want to spread the good vibes,” said Didal who finished seventh in the women’s street final. “I hope they saw that here in skateboarding that there is really a big chance to enter the Olympics.”

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