Didal On Skateboarding: 'We Don't Train Like Other Athletes Do'

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Philippine finalist Margielyn Didal, 22, missed out on a medal
Philippine finalist Margielyn Didal, 22, missed out on a medal

After years of being considered as the “rebel’s sport,” skateboarding finally made its debut on the grand stage of the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

The competition saw 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya of the host country become the first-ever women’s gold medalist at the event as well as Japan’s youngest person to ever win a gold medal in any international sporting event.

However, it was the Philippines’ Margielyn Didal who captured the hearts of many viewers.

Didal’s now-famous photobombs immediately made her one of the most feel-good stories from Tokyo 2020, particularly during Brazilian skateboarder Leticia Bufoni’s interview.

The sport was given even more shine thanks to Didal’s light-hearted antics and many have since latched on to the young Filipina for her positive demeanor.

Speaking at a virtual media roundtable, Didal and her coach Dani Bautista were asked about her interaction with Tony Hawk and how it felt competing at the Olympics among many others.

The International Business Times was able to ask the 22-year-old Olympian about how skateboarders trained for competition.

“I think for us [skateboarders], especially for me, you really don’t think. You don’t have to do any specific ‘workout’. For us, skating everyday is [already our training]. We don’t really [train] like the usual athletes do,” said Didal.

“The only things I think about are being able to skate, taking care of my general health, no injuries; just to skate every day.”

Bautista further expounded on the life of a skateboarding athlete.

“What you want to do is to skate as much as you can. On the training side of that is just conditioning your body to a point where you can skate as much as you can,” he said.

“Obviously, you don’t want to train too much that it’ll take away from your skateboarding since skateboarding is a repetitive thing. When we go out on these training camps, we make sure that Margie is just focused on skating and she gets the treatment she needs so she can keep doing exactly that.”

Didal started skating at the age of 12, and her performance at the 2020 Olympics has made her a sure-fire crowd favorite.

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