Iron thrower’s iron will | Inquirer News

Iron thrower’s iron will

Earthquake victim bucks natural, personal tragedies to win gold in Milo meet
/ 07:30 AM December 11, 2013

She was not supposed to compete in the recent National Finals of the Milo Little Olympics in Cebu City.

Not that 16-year old Rensel Rosales of Tagbilaran City, Bohol didn’t want to, but because a 7.2-magnitude earthquake devastated her home province and forced her to stop training.

The tremor was so strong it toppled centuries-old heritage churches, destroyed homes, bridges, roads, cut communication lines and claimed hundreds of lives and laid the resilient spirit of the Boholanos suspect.


The catastrophe also aborted the intense training that Rosales subjected herself in preparation for the approaching Milo Little Olympics National Finals. The graduating student of Grace Christian School was, at that time, training religiously to fulfill her ultimate dream—to earn her high school diploma, prove her doubters wrong and win a Milo National Finals gold medal in her last and final try.


“I always failed and its depressing. It came to a point that I almost quit the sport of shot put. I thought that maybe it is not the right sport for me,” said Rosales. “But I told myself that these are just trials, that I just needed to train much harder to win.”

Add to her self doubts the fact that the earthquake left her incommunicado, prompting the region’s sports officials to frantically look for her for days to make sure that she’s okay. After all, she is Team Visayas’ top bet for shot put gold.

Then on the first day of the National Finals, Rosales put all of her troubles behind her. She took the four-kilogram iron ball into her hands and strained as she drained all her might on her throw.

The iron ball sailed 9.22 meters, the best effort of the day and gave Team Visayas its first gold medal of the games. That distance was good enough to silence Rosales’ critics and doubters. More importantly, the gold medal affirmed her belief in herself and in what she can do despite all the distractions she had to survive. The shining metal also validated her choice to stick to her sport, no matter how hard, no matter how difficult.

The medal, Rosales said, will also be a nice high school souvenir along with her diploma which she will be receiving this March.

“It’s really my dream to win this gold medal before I graduate because it will serve as very nice memory as I start my college life,” she added.



Looking back, she revealed that aside from the rigors of training, she also had to contend with people who doubted her skills and have nothing good to say except to tell her that she will never be good enough.

After dismal finishes in major competitions, Rosales admitted she too began to doubt herself. Add to that her lack of training after her team’s training venue was converted into an evacuation and relief center for the thousands of earthquake victims.


But instead of sulking, Rosales and her teammates used open grounds to practice. Even her neighbors’ lawns were not spared by the young champ.

“We managed to train seriously for just a couple of weeks. I could have performed better if not for the earthquake,” she added with a proud and confident grin.

Rosales is not alien to competitions because an athlete’s blood proudly runs through her veins being born to athlete parents. Her mother is a former athlete while her father is a former varsity basketball player.

She said her five siblings had an easy life since her dad had a business and they own a fishpond in the town of Talibon.

Life became hard for the family when her father was murdered in 2009. Until now, his killers remain unidentified.

That sad part of Rosales’ life strengthened her and made her more determined to achieve her goals.

Aside from the shot put gold, Rosales also collected a bronze medal in the discus throw. Not bad for somebody who went through a lot just to represent her region and realize her Milo dream through sheer grit and determination.

Early next year, Rosales will return to Cebu to compete in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) and hopes to make it all the way to the Palarong Pambansa in the summer.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Rosales’ story is proof that no matter how many distractions and trials we will face, fulfilling our dreams will still greatly depend on how determined we are in realizing them. That no matter how many earthquakes and calamities we will face in our journey through life, the only one who will determine whether we win or lose is… ourselves.

TAGS: Sports

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.