MANILA, Philippines – Mothers know best.
All this time, it has been world gymnastics champion Carlos Yulo's mother, Angelica, who has been the teen gymnast's source of encouragement – and pressure – to achieve greater heights.
For his mother, she doesn't want him to settle for satisfactory performances as it won't help him realize his potential in the world stage. (FAST FACTS: Who is gymnast Carlos Yulo?)
"Kailangan ng konting pressure talaga kasi pag sinabi ni Caloy na 'okay lang iyan, Ma,' sabi ko hindi okay. Kasi ayaw ko na dumating sa time na walang positive na result kasi makakasanayan niya ‘yung ganoong 'okay lang sa mama ko,'" shared Angelica.
(He really needs a little pressure because once Caloy says 'that's okay, Ma,' I will tell him that it's not okay. Because I don't want it to come to a point that he will not get any positive results because he'll get used to thinking that 'it will be okay with my mama.')
But last year, Yulo started doubting himself and even wanted to quit the sport, but his mother never stopped encouraging him.
"Ang sinasabi ko kasi sa kanya is sayang kung nagstop ka kasi ang dami mo napatunayan eh tapos sa gitna ng limelight mo, magquiquit ka. Hindi mo pa na-reareach ‘yung pinakagoal natin," added Angelica.
"Kung nagquit siya, ano gagawin niya? Tatambay?"
(I told him that it would be a waste if he just stopped in the middle of his successful run and just when he's in the limelight because he has already achieved a lot. He hasn't even reached his ultimate goal yet. If he quits, what will he do? Become jobless?)
Angelica, though, did not expect her son to actually become a world champion and a future Olympian.
They only used to aim for golden performances in the MILO Little Olympics and Palarong Pambansa, but it was thanks to some favorable turn of events, like meeting Japanese mentor Munehiro Kugimiya, that paved the way for his success.
"Never expected [na maging world champion and Olympian anak ko], kasi at first hindi ko talaga alam na ito ‘yung path na tinatahak niya," shared Angelica.
"Tapos tumatagal, nagkakaroon na siya ng international competitions tapos ito na 'yung SEA Games – ‘yung pinkamataas na level na competition na ini-aim namin dati. Then after dumating ‘yung coach niya, doon bumukas ‘yung mata namin na aside from SEA Games, meron pa palang mas malaking competition na naghihintay for him." (WATCH: A bubbly 12-year-old Carlos Yulo shares his medal hopes)
(I never expected to have a son who is a world champion and a future Olympian because at first, I really didn't know that this will be his path. The longer he played in the sport, he was being sent to international competitions, and we just aimed for the SEA Games then. But after we met his coach, that's when we realized that there are bigger competitions waiting for Caloy besides the SEA Games.)
Yulo will debut in the Southeast Asian Games when the Philippines hosts the regional biennial meet on November 30 to December 11.
The 19-year-old dynamo is a favorite to sweep all 7 events in the men's artistic gymnastics tournament which will run from December 1 to 9 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.