By Shane Marie K. Canono
Michael Jordan once said, “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Indeed, no one has ever achieved winning without getting through the hardest times, just like how athletes work hard to achieve their goals andnever give up.In Silliman, sports are like a part of a student’s life. The university has since produced excellent athletes; four of them to go on Olympic stadiums. For students, especially athlete aspirants, they are inspirational. Symbolized by the Red and White Stallion, the university has gained pride and honor in the world of athletics.
Who knows about Simeon Galvez Toribio, a Sillimanian long jumper? Take it on a bet, there’s only a few. However, Toribio was one of the country’s highly respected sporting elite who represented the Philippines in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1928. And apart from that, he was considered the “Filipino Field Athlete of the Half Century” and “Asia’s Best Athlete” for bagging gold medals in the high jump event in the Far Eastern Olympics in 1921, 1923, 1927, 1930, and 1934. He also won a bronze medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
Another honorable athlete who studied in Silliman is Mark Javier. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he was the only male archer to represent the Philippines. Javier was alsoa member of the Silliman University Dumaguete Archery Club (SUDAC) and the National Archery Association of the Philippines (NAAP). He won medals in local and national competitions and participated in international competitions.
Sillimanians should also not forget about archers Jennifer Chan, who won gold in the 25th South East Asia(SEA) Games, and Lisa Ygnalaga, who competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.In an article about Chan from GMA network, she said, “Na-achieve ko na ang dream ko sa SEA Games, kaya ito na ang last ko.”
Aside from the four Olympians, there are still many Sillimanians who won medals or awards in their respective sports field. In the 2014 Philippine National Games (PNG), archers Marie Crizabelle Merto, and Danaleau Baldono bagged gold medals, while archer Lawrence Joseph Marino won a silver medal. Computer Engineering junior Merto won in six events, while Medical Technology sophomore Baldono won in two events. Apart from archery, Sillimanians also have won in the field of swimming. In the 200-meter free relay of the 2014 PNG, Management senior Giovani Trapila and Education senior Genard Geon Ubanan each bagged a medal. On the other hand, in the 200-meter fly and 100-meter fly, Medical Technology freshman Isabelle Hellene Mosqueda and Education junior Toni Rose Sayson each won a silver medal.
Their road isn’t easy and simple. All of the effort they’ve put in adds to what they have achieved. And it wasn’t enough to just work hard. If there’s one thing a person has to do in life that they would never regret, it is to work hard.