MANILA, Philippines—Nesthy Petecio’s boxing journey is as humble as it could get, and now she also has a historic Olympic silver medal to show for it.
Teodoro Petecio, the father of the women’s featherweight silver medalist in the Tokyo Olympics, said he still couldn’t believe that his daughter Nesthy is representing the Philippines on the biggest sporting stage in the world.
The older Petecio recalled how his daughter dedicated herself to the sport even with no proper equipment during the early years of training.
Nesthy has come a long way since then, even winning a world championship along the way, and all those years of hard work ultimately paid off in Japan.
“I couldn’t believe up until now that she’s competing in the Olympics. She came from very humble beginnings, using recycled clothes to cover her hands as gloves and a slipper as a punching bag,” said Teodoro told Agence France-Presse in Bisaya.
Nesthy became the first Filipino to win a medal in boxing since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco captured the silver in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
She’s also the first female Filipino boxer to win a medal in the sport.
Teodoro added that Nesthy initially kept her interest in the sport under wraps but the Petecio patriarch never hindered his daughter from pursuing boxing.
“Nesthy was persistent when she was young. I only learned when I got home from work that she had had sparring sessions with other young boxers,” said Teodoro. “That’s when I saw her potential.”
While Nesthy lost to Japan’s Sena Irie via unanimous decision in the final, her brother Norlan believes it was still a victory for his sister.
“I believe my sister won. She would not smile if she lost a boxing match. I know she won,” said Norlan.
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