NEW ZEALAND --- Sasabak sa Summer Olympics sa Tokyo, Japan ang kauna-unahang female karate athlete na delegado ng New Zealand at isa siyang Pinay. Hindi raw pinangarap ni Andrea Anacan, trenta anyos, na makapapasok siya sa Olympics, pero pinalad na mapili dahil sa kanyang husay at disiplina.
“It hasn't always been my dream going to the Olympics - this is the first time karate is in the Olympics. I was planning to retire 3 times already...and then I got 7th place, so 7th in the world championship and then I was like, ‘okay I’m gonna retire that’s it.’ Then people came up to me and said, ‘oh are you doing Olympics?’ And my answer was, ‘oh no, I’m not doing Olympics...I had plans and God had other plans,” kuwento ni Anacan.
Nakatakda siyang lumaban sa isang non-contact sports na Kata.
“Between kata and kumite, kumite is fighting...In kata, I call it the art form of martial arts karate. It’s very elegant, it’s very beautiful but at the same time it’s strong and you can demonstrate your speed. Each move means something,” dagdag ni Anacan.
Tubong Cainta, Rizal, ang kanyang pamilya ay nag-migrate sa New Zealand noong 2003. Nagsimula ang kanyang interes sa karate noong apat na taong gulang pa lamang siya. At ibinahagi niya kung paano niya nakumbinse ang kanyang ina para payagan siyang mag-aral ng karate.
“...so I was 4 years old nung nasa Pilipinas kami and my mom wanted me to do something other than study...she said, ‘okay ano’ng gusto mo, ballet or karate?’ And because we were conscious about safety I said, ‘I really want to do karate mom because if I get kidnapped, ano ‘yun magba-ballet ba ako?”
Lilipad si Anacan papuntang Tokyo, Japan sa Huwebes, ika-29 ng Hulyo para sa kaniyang competition na gaganapin sa ika-5 ng Agosto, 2021.