Ahead of the highly anticipated men’s final of pole vault event in athletics of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Jeanette Obiena thinks her son, Ernest John Obiena, is already a champion by being an Olympian.
The elder Obiena said it was a ‘dream turned reality’ that her son finally made it to the Olympics, and she said it was because of the people that made it possible and helped them through the years.
“Thank you very much for supporting EJ,” said a teary eyed mother of the Philippines’ pole vault bet as she appeared on The Chasedown last Saturday, July 31 on One PH channel of Cignal TV.
“Napaka-laking tulong niyo para matupad niya yung pangarap niya. Napaka-hirap ng pinagdanan niya para umabot sa Olympics. The hardships that they are doing… going there and reaching that spot.”
“He’s already a champion in our hearts,” added Jeanette.
She mentioned the support of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Inc.
According to her, one of the toughest parts as far as their family is concerned is being away for so long from one another. She said the last time she saw her son was in early December 2019 after the Southeast Asian Games here.
After that, Obiena left for a competition abroad.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened in January 2020 that forced different governments to lockdown, and Obiena had no choice but to stay put in Europe where he continued training and eventually was able to join in various meets prior to the Tokyo Olympics.
The health situation is another thing that worries her, that is why she always reminds her son and her husband Emerson, who is also in the Tokyo Olympics, to keep on guard and practice the necessary protocols.
“Huwag magbaba-baba ng mga panangga. Kapag may hinawakan kayo, they need to disinfect,” she said.
Just like millions of Filipinos that are looking forward to seeing the world No. 6 Obiena in the championship round of the men’s pole vault event on Tuesday, she said that she is excited too to watch the event.
Similar to when she saw and cheered her son on TV following a successful third attempt to clear the pole during the qualification round of the event last Saturday, she expects the finals to be heart stopping.
“Nalaglag yung puso ko dito sabi ko kay EJ at ang sabi niya ‘akala niyo kayo lang ba… ako rin,” she said laughing.