Now that Margielyn Arda Didal has won a gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games, she no longer has to worry about being chased by the police while skateboarding in the streets of Cebu City.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña promised to build a skating park for aspiring athletes to follow in Didal's footsteps.
In a Facebook post, Osmeña congratulated the 19-year-old Cebuana for her performance in the Games.
“Margielyn Didal of Lahug just won Gold in the (20)18 Asian Games in Indonesia. She also represented Cebu in the UK last May where she was the only competitor from Asia. Congratulations Margielyn!” he said.
“Because the awareness raised by people like you, Cebu City will be building a skate park in the SRP. My sister is personally donating P5M to your cause.”
Didal previously lamented that most skateboarders have been subjected to discrimination, as they are considered a nuisance when they skate along the roads or sidewalks.
“Nag-ii-skate kami sa Cebu sa streets lang,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo. “Hinahabol kami ng pulis ng security ‘pag may nakikitang nagiiskate.”
“Minsan 'pag nasa mall pag may hawak na skate board bawal nang pumasok.”
Osmeña said Didal will no longer worry about such things. In fact, he even invited her to help design the proposed skate park.
“As the expert, your input is of course welcome on the park’s design. Soon, people like you will finally have a place that is safe, free from traffic, and able to call your own,” he said.
Didal’s golden performance in the Games’ women’s street skate event netted her a total of windfall of P6 million in incentives from the government and private patrons.
The 19-year-old will use the bonus to make sure that parents won’t have to scrounge for money again.
“First of all gagamitin para sa family po,” said Didal. “Baka magtayo ng negosyo para sa family din. Para hindi na kelangang magwork ng mama at papa ko.”
Didal is the fourth among 5 children. Her father works as a carpenter while her mother sells street food in Lahug.
She left school after finishing Grade 7 to go through extensive training overseas. Didal had to sacrifice her studies to able to provide financial support to her family.
Interview with Margielyn Didal. Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News
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