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Petecio’s bittersweet Olympics victory with loss of 2 people

REMEMBERING. The Philippine boxing team who saw action in the 2020 Olympics in Japan pose with the widow and children of late University of Baguio athletics director Alan Elegado during the homecoming and tribute Monday, November 22, at the UB Centennial Hall. From left, Ezra, Lisa and Elijah Elegado (front), wife and children along with Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial. Pigeon Lobien / RNG Luzon

Nesthy Petecio turned emotional as she narrated the loss of two persons very close to her in her chase for an Olympics medal.

Speaking before University of Baguio officials and students, as well as mayor Benjamin Magalong and councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, the 2020 Olympics silver medalist turned teary eyed as she expressed the hurt she experienced in losing a second person close to her.

The Olympics homecoming Monday at the UB Centennial Building feted the four Olympians, follow boxers Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno which also served as a tribute to the school’s late athletics director Alan Elegado, who died after a short bout with cancer last November 2.

Petecio in cracked voice narrated how Elegado pushed her to play even better that led to her winning a silver medal in the delayed Tokyo Olympics. Last February 13, her closest friend and former Philippine boxing team member Alexcel Dargantes died.

“Napakasakit, dalawang taong malapit sa yo mawawala pa (It is painful that you lose two persons very close to you),” she said adding that her victory was bittersweet.

“Is this the price of victory, now you are enjoying what you worked hard for, but you cannot celebrate it with the people you care for,” she said in halting Filipino.

“I was really hoping that I could show sir Alan this medal, but it was too late. I was hoping that Alexcel will be with me when I bring home a medal and enjoy the fruits of what I worked so hard for,” she added.

Petecio earlier approached Elegado’s widow, Lisa, also a UB instructor as the video about the late athletic director was played and tried to comfort her as she sobbed with her two children, Ezra and Elijah.

The four Olympians were feted by the city during the Monday flag raising ceremony where citations were give them as the total of PhP1.2 million is being prepared for release this week. Petecio and Paalam will receive PhP500,000 each, while their coaches get PhP100,000 each for the Olympic wins.

They were later motorcaded then proceeded to the UB Centennial Hall where they receive lifetime scholarships including post graduate and two slots of scholarship.

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