The victorious Philippine contingent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics demonstrated that hard work and determination pay off.
The Atom Araullo Special, it features Filipino athletes Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial telling their stories on the road to the Olympics.
Lady weightlifter Diaz won the country’s first-ever gold medal since joining the Olympics in 1924.
She used to sell fish and vegetables with her father.
At 17, she became the youngest and first Filipino female weightlifter to join the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Petecio started boxing at age seven and went on to gain an athlete scholarship.
She first competed in 2007 and was recruited by the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines-Calinan boxing team.
Paalam sold scrap metal at junkyards to earn money for his family.
He learned boxing also at age seven and later competed to earn P100 to P200. He sharpened his skills in the Cagayan De Oro Boxing Training program.
Marcial learned boxing from his father who was head coach of the Zamboanga boxing team.
At 16, he won the International Boxing Association Junior World Championship. (Veronica Rodriguez)