Margielyn Didal may not have won a medal, but she sure has won the hearts of fans around the world with her charisma, personality and resilient spirit during her stint at the finals of the women's skateboarding street Olympic event at the Ariake Skate Park in Tokyo last Monday (July 26).
Following an awkward fall, Didal could no longer keep her promising start in her first two runs. But the 22-year old skateboarder from Cebu City still powered through, all smiles.
The official Twitter account of the Olympics took notice of her contagious smile, tweeting:
Despite not making a podium finish, Didal has undoubtedly made the country proud. Not just for her athletic feats as the reigning Asian Games, Southeast Asian (SEA) Games champion and Olympics finalist, but for how she showcased the cheerful nature of Filipinos as well.
Didal has also impressed Olympics spectators from all over the world.
Yahoo Sports reporter Hannah Keyser who tweeted a clip of Didal dancing described the young skateboarder as having the most fun.
Didal even had fans from across the globe in Brazil, home to her opponent, 13-year old silver medalist Rayssa Leal.
The two struck up a friendship and even posted a Tiktok together.
@jrayssaleal Congrats on getting Silver in the first Olympic
♬ original sound - Jean-Victor
In a true show of Filipino sportsmanship, Didal was caught on camera cheering on Leal and her other opponents, endearing the Cebuana to supporters even more.
Twitter user @luscas, a social media influencer in Brazil with a reach of seven million, described Didal as a "Lenda" or Legend in Portuguese. @Luscas also said, "DIDAL O BRASIL TE AMA." (Didal, Brazil loves you).
Another Twitter user with the name Monica tweeted about how she was instantly invested in Didal within a few hours of watching the Pinay skateboarder compete.
Margielyn Didal is indeed a true sport and a winner in our hearts.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.