Aside from giving athletes a chance at glory, sporting events often bring out fascinating stories about its participants. Such is what we’re learning from Indonesian wushu athlete Edgar Xavier Marvelo, who won two gold medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines yesterday, only hours after hearing the news of his father’s passing.
According to reports, Edgar learned about his father’s death in the early hours of Tuesday, and was scheduled to compete later that same day.
“Edgar was asked to go home by his family, but we also explained to him that he’s been working hard through his training. Before leaving, he had also met his father. After having discussed with his trainers and giving him guidance, Edgar went on to perform and we’re grateful that he got his gold medals,” Ngatino said yesterday.
Edgar’s coaches tried to keep him motivated and focused for the tournament by allowing him to express his grief, to the point that he was also encouraged to cry.
Then, at the World Trade Center in Manila yesterday, the 21-year-old athlete won in an individual event and a team event.
On Instagram, Edgar said he dedicated his gold medals to his late father, Lo Tjhiang Meng.
The athlete said that he promised his father he would win gold medals at SEA Games 2019.
“Before his life support was removed, I told my dad that I promised to do this for him. I called my mom, please tell everyone that I can’t go home to Indonesia yet because there’s the [Kammuri] storm in the Philippines, I might only come home tomorrow morning,” Edgar told CNN Indonesia yesterday.
Edgar finally flew back home today and placed his gold medals on his father’s body.
Edgar’s story deeply moved many at the event, with SEA Games dedicating a post on the wushu champion across their social media channels.
Born in Jakarta on Dec 6, 1998, Edgar has been active in wushu since he was eight, when he was first introduced to the sport through an extracurricular activity. After taking it as a hobby, he joined a wushu school and trained to become a professional athlete.
This is his second SEA Games, after having competed in the 2017 games held in Kuala Lumpur, where he won a bronze medal. Edgar also won a silver medal in last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta.
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