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Paula Obañana: Up Close

Merell Lystra L. Recta

Athletes have a fixed schedule for their trainings; you might as well assume that they’re always busy. A lot of spectators can judge them during a game. Normally, when we hear the word “athlete,” we associate the term with strength, endurance, or even with fitness. We see them as one of the toughest kinds of people in the society—but that isn’t always the case.

Hailing from Dumaguete and a Sillimanian at heart, Paula Lynn Parrocho Obañana gives back to young or aspiring athletes by sharing her experiences and conducting sports clinics and lectures in the city. She competed during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and although she didn’t finish gold with her partner Eva Lee, badminton will always be her passion. Even if she seems to be a tough woman in the game, she is just like any other person you encounter in the streets.

Paula has fears.
Observing the way she handles trainings in badminton, one couldn’t tell that this brave woman is not fearless. Yes, she may be serious in the game, but when it comes to life outside the court, she has a fear of heights and needles. Ironically speaking, she actually tried riding a roller coaster once and had two knee surgeries. “I always chicken out,” she remarked.

Paula learns from her mistakes.
An athlete has different ways to cope with his or her losses. For Obañana, she tries to reflect on her loss and instead of feeling negative about it, she tries to bring in positive vibes. There are really just times when an athlete, no matter how good they can be, does not feel that it is their peak at that moment. It is very important for an athlete to know how to deal with this kind of situation. It is in learning from mistakes that one becomes ready for another and much more difficult challenger.

Paula is adventurous.
Badminton may be her passion, but that does not hinder her to try new things. She constantly looks for something to explore and to experience, other than her favorite sport. She plays the guitar, and just like any other die-hard fan out there, she is a frustrated singer.

Despite Paula’s blooming career now, she gives part of her time to teach or train other athletes. There may be losses in some of her games, but she assures herself that she can do it.

A tough person isn’t tough because he or she has no weakness. It is when he or she faces challenges with all their might without even thinking of winning or losing.

This is how Paula Lynn Parrocho Obañana looks like up close.

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