Top Filipino skateboarder Margielyn Didal remains in high spirits even as the coronavirus pandemic delayed her training and a possible entry into the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
"It's hard to train and travel during the pandemic. But we're keeping that positive mindset -- we're gonna make it, we're gonna represent the Philippines," the skateboarding star said in Filipino on Thursday's episode of The Game on ONE News.
Didal, the 2018 Asian Games gold medalist who also bagged twin golds in 2019 Southeast Asian Games, has mostly been stuck at her hometown in Cebu ever since the pandemic shelved the World Skate Olympic qualifier last March.
Without a proper skate park to work with, Didal said she was left to train within the confines of her home in the first few months of the lockdown last year.
"Before the lockdown in February, we were in the States, where I was supposedly set to compete for the qualifiers. We had a lot of stopovers because there were other tournaments aside from the qualifiers and we had to train in other places, but suddenly the qualifiers got postponed when the country went on lockdown," shared Didal.
"When I got home, I stayed at home and I wasn't able to skate for about a month or two. At home, I used the huge space downstairs because our house went through some repairs and we hadn't bought furniture yet," she continued.
Didal later settled for a makeshift ramp behind her room to resume her own training, although of course it was still far from the ideal situation for the 21-year-old.
"After two months, I asked my dad to build me a mini ramp behind my room. I had it installed when I was able to get some extra allowance because I needed a ramp after I broke the tiles downstairs," Didal said with a laugh. "But it's still different from skating in a park because there are obstacles and there's a lot of space."
The pandemic hasn't done much to sway her optimism. After all, the wins still keep coming for Didal, who won silver in the virtual Madrid Urban Sports tournament last month before later earning a nomination for Skater of the Year in the 2020 Asia Skateboarding Awards.
Didal is also still in prime position to join pole vaulter Ernest Obiena, boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno, and gymnast Carlos Yulo into the Olympics later this year.
Currently ranked No. 14 in the street Olympic rankings, Didal can join the four other Olympians if she finishes within the top 16 until the ranking cutoff date on June 30. A top three finish in the rescheduled qualifying tournament automatically gets her to Tokyo.
"I'll try my best to get there and I'll try to get a medal," said Didal. "I hope this pandemic will be over soon and things will be better soon so all the athletes can train and compete."