Richard Gomez is a familiar name in the showbiz industry, but not many know about his past as a successful athlete.
Before becoming one of the country’s top leading men of the 90s, Gomez represented the Philippines internationally in both volleyball and fencing. Today, he heads the National Sports Associations of Fencing and Modern Pentathlon while serving as the Representative of the Fourth District of Leyte.
Growing up, Goma’s daughter, Juliana Marie Beatriz, also developed a love for sports, specifically fencing and volleyball. She pursued volleyball in college, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to reconsider her options.
With fencing facilities available in their hometown of Ormoc, Gomez encouraged his daughter to return to the sport she loved as a child. Juliana trained for two years and eventually became a skilled fencer.
“Actually, I convinced her to go back to fencing.
“When she was young, she would fence already. But she really… sabi niya, ‘I really wanted to try volleyball,’ so she became part of the varsity team. But, when COVID set in, everything stopped. But in Ormoc, fencing was open ’cause, I could go back to fencing and train. So, two years of training, and I’m happy that she’s very much into fencing,” shared Richard.
On Friday, Juliana represented University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 85 Fencing Championships, and her proud father was there to cheer her on. Despite struggling during the pools, Juliana found her rhythm as the competition progressed, eventually winning the gold medal.
Richard couldn’t be happier with his daughter’s success, and he hopes that she will continue to pursue fencing and become one of the best in the country. As an experienced athlete himself, he advised his daughter to approach every game with an open mind and adapt to her opponent’s playing style.
“I’m happy that she’s getting better. I’m also hoping that she’ll continue to play fencing,” he said. “And, I really wanted to — I want her to be one of the best in the country — possible. So sabi ko, ‘It really takes perseverance’ no? And a lot of training, a lot of hard work. Sabi ko, ‘Eventually, you’ll get there.’
“Hopefully, she will be part of the national team.”
Aside from being a proud father, Gomez is also thrilled that fencing is once again in the limelight with the return of the UAAP competition. He hopes that more schools will participate, and that fencing will continue to be recognized as a mainstream sport.