First palaro gold medalist overcomes adversities
TAGUM CITY, Philippines - Ever since he was little, Christian Capasao has always looked up to his father. He was his best friend, mentor and hero all rolled into one – no person could ever beat his admiration to the one man he called papa.
“Sobrang papa’s boy talaga ako noon,” said the Palarong Pambansa 2015 first–ever gold medalist Capasao proudly. “Sa kanya talaga ako pinakamalapit.”
(I was a daddy’s boy because he was the one closest to me).
That explains why his next words brought to tears.
It has been nearly a decade since the incident happened but the Western Visayas discus thrower Capasao can still vividly remember the unexpected tragedy.
“Namatay yung father ko nung grade 3 ako,” said an emotional Capasao. “Nagtatrabaho kasi siya sa PDEA kaya marami siyang kaawaytaposna-ambush siya sa labasng bahay namin.”
(My father died when I was in grade 3. He worked in PDEA and had a lot of enemies. They ambushed him right outside our house).
The succeeding events became nothing but a massive nightmare and it was too much for anyone to handle, especially for a little boy who did not only lose his father but also himself.
“Na-trauma ako sa nangyari at half a year akong hindi nakapasok sa school,” Christian shared. “Naging mahirap sa akin na bumalik sa normal kasi sobrang naapektuhan ako.”
(It was a traumatic experience. I didn’t go to school for half a year. It was hard for me to go back to normal. That’s how much I was afffected).
It seemed almost impossible for Capasao to escape the indelible pain that consistently haunted him for years. But one day, a miracle happened.
“Na-rehab ako,” the 16-year old Christian said. “Dahil doon nagbago yung buhay ko.”
And that woke him up from his horrific slumber.
“Nagtry ako ng sports at doon okay nagsimula na maging okay,” quipped Christian. “Nung una baseball ang laro ko pero mas nahasa ako sa athletics.”
(When I tried out sports, I started to recover. I was into baseball at first but I was trained in athletics better).
The Iloilo-native Capasao was first exposed to javelin throw where he easily learned to adapt. Surprisingly, the transition from a team sport to an individual event even made him a better athlete.
“Na-realize ko kasi na yung team sport ay mahirap pala para sa akin kasi everybody’s game yun,” said Christian. “Yung athletics kasi ikaw talaga magte-training sa sarili mo. Kumbaga there is no one to blame kung hindi sarili mo lang.”
(I realized team sports wasn’t my thing because it’s everyboy’s game unlike in athletics where training depends on yourself. There is no one to blame but yourself alone).
Despite intense preparations, Capasao did not make it to the limelight. He worked hard like everyone else but ended at the cellar.
It would semm javelin throw wasn’t for him and fate, no matter how cruel it sounds, had other plans.
Minor setback, major comeback
“Ngayong fourth year na-injure yung elbow ko,” said Christian who also just graduated last March. “Sobrang na-discourage ako noon kasi halos malayo na yung narating ko sa javelin throw.”
(During my fourth year in school, I injured my elbow. I was so discouraged because I worked hard on javelin throw).
Despite all the setbacks, Capasao chose to fight. Even when he was at the brink of giving up, he managed to find the strength to carry on. He tried a new athletic event.
“Pinilit ko nung una pero hindi ko na talaga kaya mag-javelin kaya nag discus throw na lang ako,” shared Christian who made his Palaro debut this year. “Sobrang hindi ko inaasahan yung nangyari ngayon.”
(I tried hard but I really can’t throw javelins anymore that’s why I shifted to discus throw. I didn’t expect I would win gold).
In a span of just a year, Christian was already at his best and even more than he ever was with the years of training for javelin throw combined.
At exactly 7:58am, the technical staff announced the first gold medalist for Palaro 2015 and Capasao could not believe that of all people, his name echoed on the Davao del Norte Sports Complex.
Again, tears rolled down his eyes but this time around it carried a different story.
“Akala ko magsecond place lang ako kasi nandito pa yung nag gold last year,” he [Capasao] shared. “Umiyak ako kasi naalala ko lahat ng mga pinagdaanan ko. Na-realize ko na siguro para sa akin talaga ito at bigay to ng Diyos sa akin.”
(I thought I’d end up in second place because last year’s Palaro gold medalist is still competing this year. I cried because I remembered everything I’ve been through. I realized maybe this is really for me and God gave me this blessing).
Life chose to be bittersweet for Christian but the young lad proved no adversities could overcome a brave soul.
And at the end of it all Capasao only has one thing to say, “Para ito sa tatay ko kasi kahit wala na siya sa tabi ko, gusto ko pa rin na maging proud siya sa akin.”
(I dedicate this to my father. Even though he isn’t here with me, I still want him to be proud of me). – Rappler.com