Meet Arianne Cerdena, the first Pinay to win Olympic gold
Arianne Cerdena won Olympic gold in Bowling during the 1988 Olympics (Photo courtesy of Steve Angeles).
Long before Hidilyn Diaz and her Olympic silver medal, there was Arianne Cerdena, the first Filipina to win gold in the Olympics for the Philippines.
Yes it happened.
The year was 1988 in Seoul, South Korea and bowling was added to the Olympics for the first and so far last time.
Cerdena, who was at that time a seven-year veteran in the national team, took home gold for the Philippines.
"That's the goal to represent your country and winning a medal for your country," Cerdena said per Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News North America.
And while medals from bowling were not officially recognized because it was a demonstration sport, the weight of the gold medal Cerdena won remains the same.
"A gold is still a gold," she said.
Retiring in 2001 after a final victory in the Sea Games, Cerdena fought and won against ovarian cancer in 2004 and later became a registered nurse.
Nearly three decades since her Olympic triumph, Cerdena has some advice for fellow Filipina Hidilyn.
"I've been there, I know how she feels. I would like to tell her to savor everything," she said.
"It's priceless. Winning a medal in the Olympics where it's the creme of all tournaments, winning a medal, oh my God. It's something," she added.
Cerdena migrated with her family to Los Angeles back in 2002. She often meets with her former teammates everytime they go to the United States.
She's open to possibly coaching in the near future.