No bad falls nor awkward landings would take away the huge smile on Margielyn Didal’s face upon arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Japan Wednesday night, July 28.
Didal, who arrived on Philippine shore along with weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, the first Filipino to capture the top award in the quadrennial meet, was still all smiles despite nursing an injury she suffered while competing in the women’s street skateboarding at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.
Clad in sports attire and a white cap with a face shield and face mask, Didal was seen riding a wheelchair but managed to raise her skateboard up high while flashing the signature “seal of approval” or simple a thumbs up.
The term came from the official @Tokyo2020 Twitter account, where the 22-year-old Cebuana pride was beaming with a vibrant aura while sitting comfortably on the ground.
Team Didal and Team HD will spend their mandatory seven-day quarantine at Sofitel Hotel in Manila before returning to their respective provinces.
Didal, the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, landed seventh in the final of the women’s street skateboarding in the Tokyo Games.
She remained scoreless in her last three attempts in best tricks as she was seen limping away from center park.
But after every bad fall, Didal’s charm never faded away, finding time to wave to the crowd with a brilliant smile. At her final trick, Didal bowed to the spectators and shouted, “Arigato!” which surely captured the hearts of skateboarding fans around the world.
In an interview with One Sports’ correspondent Gretchen Ho, Didal revealed that she is actually nursing a sprained ankle since Saturday while training.
Nonetheless, Didal skated her way to the final after also placing seventh in the preliminary heats.
“I’m just hyped. I didn’t expect to be in the finals. I just enjoyed the moment,” said Didal, who was also the first athlete to be named as the Asia Skateboarder of the Year for 2020. “You guys, see me I was kinda get hurt during the finals pero enjoy pa rin. I’m here to cheer for everyone. Kumpleto pa naman, wala namang nahulog [or nawala].”