MANILA--World champion Carlos Yulo on Friday said he went through some trying moments that almost made him quit gymnastics.
On ANC's "Headstart", Yulo said he discussed with his parents that he thought about quitting gymnastics two years ago when he failed to make progress for a year during his training in Japan.
"Sinabi ko, 'Ma, mag-quit na po ako, hindi ko na kaya.' Then sabi niya lang, 'Sige, ikaw ang bahala susuportahan ka namin kahit ano'ng desisyon mo pero sayang kasi ang mga pinaghirapan mo.' Iniyakan ko, parang naisip ko rin bakit ba ako magki-quit," Yulo said.
(I told them that I couldn’t do it anymore, that I was quitting. They said they’d support whatever decision I make but all the hard work I put in would be put to waste. I cried over it and thought about why I wanted to quit.)
Yulo said he and his family prayed over his decision to continue with the sport and went back to training in Japan, but half-heartedly.
"Hindi ko ibinigay best ko pero nanalo po ako sa World Cup. Parang naisip ko, hindi ko naman ibinigay 'yung best ko pero parang binigyan pa rin ako ng best," he shared.
(I did not give my best but I still won the World Cup. I realized that I didn’t give my all, but was still given the best.)
With the support of his family, Yulo picked himself up and started to win competitions.
"That time, parang nag-start na akong magseryoso ng training," he said.
(That’s the time when I started training seriously.)
Cynthia Carrion, president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, the sport's national governing body, said support should be given to athletes who are thinking of giving up.
"You have to motivate them but, first of all, you have to let them decide for themselves," she said, adding that athletes should always feel loved and that they are being supported.
Yulo bagged a total of 7 medals -- 2 gold and 5 silver -- in this week's Southeast Asian Games.
"Masaya, kaso 'yung silver dapat may gold pa," he said.
(I’m happy, but one of the silver medals should have been a gold.)
He said pommel horse was a challenge for him.
"Hindi ko maabot kasi and mabilis akong mapagod," he explained.
(I could not reach it and easily get tired from it.)
His Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya said being used to pommel horse needs longer time in training.
Kugimiya said Yulo has a very good chance of clinching a medal in the Tokyo Olympics in the floor, vault and parallel bar exercises.
"Kailangang maraming routines akong gawin at i-polish ko 'yung landings ko. May gagawin akong new skills at magte-training talaga ako," Yulo said.
(I need to develop more routines and polish my landings. I really need to train hard for it.)
Yulo said he would remain focus and work hard to reach his Olympic dream.
"Maka-gold," he said. (To win a gold medal.)
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