Eumir Felix Marcial waged war in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the mindset of capturing the country’s elusive gold medal.
Marcial, however, settled for a bronze finish in the middleweight division of the quadrennial meet last August.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz eventually delivered the first gold medal for the Philippines while the national boxing team has yet to take home the prized badge.
But for Marcial, getting a house and lot in Tagaytay City as a consolation somehow filled the gap from getting the first Olympic gold in boxing.
“‘Yong pagbigay po ng bahay ni Cong. Bambol [Tolentino], para na po akong nanalo ng gold (I feel like I already achieved gold with the house and lot incentive),” said Marcial in the latest episode of Noli Eala’s Power and Play program. “Sabi ko kahit hindi ako maka-medal sa Olympics, ‘di ko man alam ano magiging resulta sa Olympics, sabi ko basta after Olympics mag-ipon ako ng pera at bibili po ako ng bahay sa Tagaytay (Prior to the Olympics, I told myself that I need to save money to buy a house and lot in Tagaytay City whatever the outcome is).
“Ngayon, naka-bronze na ako nagkaroon pa ako ng bahay sa Tagaytay. Sobrang thankful talaga ako (I’m really thankful that aside from the bronze medal, I also acquired a house and lot in Tagaytay),” said Marcial, who concluded his Olympic campaign with a 3-2 loss to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the semifinal bout.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg for Marcial.
The Zamboanga native boxer was also elated with the efforts of Mayor Beng Climaco for building a “Walk of Fame” dedicated to both Marcial and Diaz, cementing their hand prints to remember their Olympic triumph.
The 25-year-old Marcial also thanked his sponsor Chooks-to-Go for providing a physical store located in his hometown.
“Meron na po akong sariling negosyo na alam kong magagamit ko para sa future family ko lalo na ngayon na ikakasal na po ako. So malaking bagay po talaga iyon (I already have my own business and it really meant a lot for my future family, especially that I will be getting married soon),” he added.
At the end of the day, the Olympic bronze medalist is hoping that such incentives will also bring inspiration to his fellow athletes to work hard as much as they did.
“Alam ‘yon ng ibang mga atleta na nagsikap talaga kami, talagang inalay namin ‘yong buong buhay namin dito para makuha po namin ‘yong ano mang natatamo po namin ngayon (My fellow athletes knew how much hard work we exerted to be here and to achieve whatever we have right now).”