3-time gold medalist Eduard Folayang recalls his SEA Games experience
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 05, 2019 12:47 PM
“It’s an amazing feeling. You really feel your love for your country, that’s how I felt when I first won the SEA Games back in 2003 in Vietnam,” - Eduard Folayang (FILE PHOTO)
As Filipinos bag gold medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang looks back on his history as a Philippines representative in the biennial meet.
A three-time SEA Games gold medalist, the 36-year-old still remembers winning the gold for the Philippines more than a decade ago.
“It’s an amazing feeling. You really feel your love for your country, that’s how I felt when I first won the SEA Games back in 2003 in Vietnam,” Folayang said.
“I love the feeling when the national anthem plays, and everyone stops to pay respect to your flag. It’s a different feeling altogether – just stopping everything and feeling proud as they raise your flag.”
But it was rarely all glorious for the Filipino. “Landslide” had to give up a lot to see his dreams through.
“What makes it better are the sacrifices. You’ve given a lot, you’ve committed to give it your all, and that’s what makes it truly unforgettable,” Folayang said.
“I stopped my studies just for me to focus. Then instead of enjoying being a bachelor, I had to sacrifice for a specific goal. Those are just some of the things you have to do when you represent the flag.”
Although he did compete under the Philippines’ flag, the biennial event veteran also pointed out the values that make the SEA Games what it is.
“I hope we don’t forget the purpose of the SEA Games – it’s not about just being good,” Folayang said.
“It’s about being united and being one. That’s what we want to happen and that’s why competitions like this are made. I hope we don’t forget why we’re doing this.”