Filipino athletes

Paralympian Allain Ganapin overcomes bullying through taekwondo

Beatrice Go
Paralympian Allain Ganapin overcomes bullying through taekwondo

INSPIRATION. Allain Ganapin wants to increase awareness for everyone to respect the differently-abled.

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Para taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin encourages the differently-abled to stand up for themselves

Years before becoming a Paralympian, Allain Ganapin’s first bouts were from bullying.

Ten years ago, the para taekwondo jin got into the sport as it allowed him to earn the bullies’ respect.

“[Sumali ako sa taekwondo] to earn their respect para umiba ang tingin nila sa akin,” said Ganapin in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday, August 17.

Noong nagcocompete na ako sa taekwondo, unti unti ko na-eearn yung respect nila.”

(To earn their respect, so that they will see me differently. When I started competing in taekwondo, I slowly earned their respect.)

Ganapin, who has been on the national team since 2016, qualified for the World Para Games via a bi-partite invitation by the World Taekwondo Federation.

He becomes the first Filipino to participate in para taekwondo as the sport makes its debut in the Tokyo Paralympics.

With this accomplishment, he hopes that his participation in the biggest stage in sports can spark courage among the differently-abled and bring awareness that para athletes deserved to be respected like their able-bodied counterparts.

Kaya sa mga kagaya namin ni Ernie, gumawa rin sila ng paraan para umiba ang tingin sa kanila. Tumayo sila para sa sarili nila,” shared Ganapin as two-time Paralympic swimmer Ernie Gawilan was also present in the forum.

Kagaya lang po kami ng ibang tao na abled-bodied. Tao rin kami.

(For the differently-abled like me and Ernie, find your own way for the bullies to see you for more than your disability. Stand up for yourselves too. We’re no different from the able-bodied. We’re human too.)

The 23-year-old taekwondo jin, whose disability comes from an amputated right arm up to the elbow, will be competing in the Tokyo Paralympics’ men’s K44-75kg event on Friday, September 3.

In his five years with the national team, Ganapin won a bronze medal in the 2017 Oceania Para Taekwondo Open in Auckland, New Zealand, and went home with a bronze in the 2021 Asian Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan last May.

He missed the slot for direct qualification as missed as only the event winner would book a ticket to Tokyo. – Rappler.com

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine 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.