Filipino Skateboard Gold Medalist Named One of Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens
by Shara Mae Balce, December 11, 2018 4:56pm
Art by Jessa Malapit
Filipino skateboarder champion, Margielyn Didal, has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens for 2018.
Didal is a 19-year-old athlete from Cebu City who won a gold medal in women’s street skateboarding competition at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia early this year. She is the only Filipino who made it to the cut for this year’s magazine’s list.
The athlete shared her humble beginnings in an interview with Time, saying that she started joining competitions without having her own skateboard. She credits her family and girlfriend for being her sources of encouragement to skate. “At first, my parents didn’t support me as much because skating wasn’t seen as a ‘girly thing,’ but they 100% support me now,” she expressed.
Didal’s victory had preceded the contemplation to take skateboarding as a serious sport in the Philippines especially in Cebu City, where Mayor Tomas Osmeña pledged to build a skatepark in Didal’s honor.
The magazine said Didal “became a nation hero in the process.” She, along with other chosen teens, was determined by “accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news.”
Other teenagers included on the list are Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, the K-pop group NCT Dream, Olympic snowboarding gold medalist Chloe Kim, and Netflix’s dark teen drama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Kiernan Shipka.
Margielyn Dida is now gearing up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where skateboarding will be counted in as an athletic event for the first time.