Who to follow: Triathlete-cum-fitspo Nikko Huelgas
Barry Viloria on Jul 30, 2015 11:34 AM
"Growing up, I looked up to Michael Phelps and Manny Pacquiao. They have achieved a lot in the sport and they still kept on going and progressing each day." (Photo taken from Nikko Huelgas' Instagram account: @nikkohuelgas)
When news broke about Nikko Huelgas’ men’s individual triathlon gold finish at the SEA Games in June, people started talking… about how fine looking this young man is. Like, really. While it was astonishing how he managed to rally from behind to win the race at 02:04:32, we heard more online chirps on why it isn’t just Matteo Guidicelli anymore when it comes to cool guys who manage to appear good in an extreme sport—so extreme, it combines three sports. (Seriously, how?!)
Nikko’s legit by all means. He was a “pure swimmer” for his Alma Mater DLSU, until he joined a 5k fun run in January 2009 where Coach Rick Reyes of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) spotted him and thereafter invited him to join an aquathlon. Nikko took on triathlon races next, and, by 2010, he was already part of the national team.
“I fell in the love with triathlon during the process of training because of the difficult challenges and the discipline that it gives you. Also, it was the sport that gave me the dream of finally becoming a national athlete,” he says.
Nikko, through TRAP, is now dead set for his “ultimate dream” to make it in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. He admits he could get very competitive “even in the small races. I give my everything because I really hate to lose.” So, he really works hard by training twice to thrice a day—on top of his other jobs as the newly elected POC Athlete’s Commission chair and columnist for Manila Bulletin Sports Digest.
Damn, he still looks good after all of it.
And while many of us won’t be able to relate with Nikko on legit triathlon (it’s a seriously focus-, energy-, and time-consuming sport!), we may just look up to him as our new fitness inspiration. If he can bike, swim, and run for the country, so can we. The looking good will follow. Or, at least, we’d like to believe.
Follow his Instagram and check out how he lives to the extreme!
Follow this writer on Twitter: @barrycyrus