Despite not coming up with a medal, Filipino gymnastics star Caloy Yulo earned more than enough experience from his Olympic debut in Tokyo.
Most of the gymnastics world — and, of course, all the Filipinos — were left stunned after the botched performance from the reigning world champion in his pet apparatus, the floor.
However, no one felt more disappointed than Yulo himself. And he admitted that the feeling lingered.
“Isang gabi lang po ako na sobrang down. Ang dami pong nag-me-message sa ‘kin na, ‘Kaya mo yan!’ Akala po nila nawalan po ako ng gana dahil hindi ko kaya. Pero ganun po talaga, nangyayari po ‘yun,” he told MVP Sports Foundation ambassador Gretchen Ho.
“Hindi po palaging smooth yung daan, lalo na sa sports. Up and down po.”
Despite the loss, the 21-year-old knew that he had to soldier on and keep his head high.
“Nung gabi po after kaming mag-meeting, pagkapasok ko po sa kuwarto, umiyak po talaga ko. Iniyak ko po talaga.
“Hindi ko po siya kinaya na pigilan. Tsaka ayaw ko ring pigilan. Feeling ko lalakas pa ko kung ilabas ko siya,” he shared.
Fortunately, boosted by his huge performance in the qualifiers, Yulo made the final in one of his other favorites — the vault.
“Sobrang saya lang po na nabilang po ako sa kanila. Pumasok po ako sa finals. Hindi ko po expected na may finals ako nung qualification. Pero sinuwerte po talaga.”
The 30th Southeast Asian Games multiple medalist then buckled down to work for this last chance to earn a medal for the country.
Wednesday evening came, and Yulo turned it up with his valiant effort. And he almost, almost clinched the piece of hardware he deserves.
“Okay naman po. Nakakakaba sa una po pero nung pangalawang jump ko po, ok na. Mas confident na po ako,” the Olympic scholar said of his performance.
He then admitted, “Opo, sobrang konti na lang po. Nanghihinayang po kasi maganda po yung preparation ko bago po ako nag-vault. Hindi po lumabas yung training ko. Pero okay naman po, experience po.”
After weeping hard on a loss and standing up to fight on, Yulo will move on from this Olympic debut. What’s next for the Philippines’ gymnastic star?
“Olympics po. Paris,” he declared.