Driven by Olympic failure, Yulo delivers in stage as grand
There’s not a single day that passed since the Tokyo Olympics that Carlos Yulo hasn’t spent sulking on his failure in Japan.
It’s what drove him to become even better.
“I still cannot forget what happened in the Olympics. So I always remind myself ‘What if the Olympics happens now? What will I do?,’” said Yulo in Filipino during Tuesday’s virtual presser following his golden feat in the vault in the 50th FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) World Artistic Gymnastics in Kitakyushu, Japan.
The 21-year-old, 4-foot-11 dynamo struck gold in the men’s vault and claimed a silver in the parallel bars after giving up the world title he won in the 2019 World Championships by placing fifth in the floor exercise.
“I couldn’t remove it (Tokyo experience) from my head. I always feel anxious, thinking about it everyday, even in training,’’ said Yulo, who will receive P750,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as cash incentive.
“I lost and I don’t want to commit mistakes anymore. There are times that my body doesn’t respond to the things I want to do, but I could not give up,’’ added Yulo, who is now looking forward to the 2024 Paris Olympics for Games redemption.
But way before that, the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines said that Yulo will make a much-awaited homecoming and will spend Christmas and New Year at the old family residence in Leveriza in Manila, which is a stone’s throw away from the facility where Yulo watched gymnasts in action before being enamored with the sport.
Munehiro Kugimiya, Yulo’s Japanese coach, will join him in the Manila trip to also be able to assess other gymnasts in the national pool, including Caloy’s siblings Eldrew and Issa, who celebrated her birthday recently. Yulo will go home after his last competition of the year in Japan on Dec. 10.
Yulo will also attend the inauguration of the association’s new gym beside the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
“My confidence level is improving in every competition that I participate in. I have become strict to myself in training,’’ said Yulo, who, for the past two years, has not eaten a single slice of pizza, his favorite food.
During the Tokyo Games, he missed the medal round of the floor exercise and came up short of a podium finish after placing fourth in the vault.
“As much as possible, I will try to perfect my routine but I don’t fear committing mistakes as long as I try my best,’’ said Yulo.
Yulo’s gold medal in the vault netted him P500,000 and P250,000 for the silver medal in the parallel bars upon approval of the PSC board on Tuesday, a far cry from the millions that Olympic medalists made.
“Every incentive that he receives is well-deserved. By sheer will and determination, Caloy has created his own niche in the halls of Philippine sports history. Caloy is truly an inspiration to our youth and Filipino athletes,’’ said PSC Chair William Ramirez. INQ
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