By CARLO ANOLIN
Margielyn Didal just loves being the Margielyn Didal.
Known for her optimism and brilliant aura, Didal became an instant social media star with her quirky gestures, cordial approach, and the sportsmanship she had shown at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
She introduced herself in a comical way, flexing her way into the skating park, created some quick Tiktok content with 13-year-old silver medalist Rayssa Leal of Brazil, and went viral due to the post of @Tokyo2020 on Twitter where the signature “seal of approval” was coined.
And many more. The reason?
“Nangungulit lang,” the 22-year-old Cebuana skating sensation told the press in a roundtable discussion Wednesday, Aug. 4. “And I didn’t expect [for it to trend], like, wala, ineenjoy ko lang kasi ‘yong event. Y’know, being Margie. But like ‘di ko alam na may mag-screenshot ng mga kalokohan ka.”
Days after, Didal, the first Filipino Olympian skater, became a famous profile picture meme on Facebook, where users can use the edited template as she was seen photobombing fellow competitors in the Tokyo Games.
And Didal thought she takes that jolly personality after her father Lito. After all, skateboarding for her is like family.
Those moments she cherished with her family, Didal said, are just one of the many ways in how she “keeps in touch” with people and fellow skateboarders.
While the competitiveness will always be a given, the 2020 Asia Skateboarder of the Year said most skaters have kept the mindset of cheering for fellow athletes and wishing them to execute the trick without getting any injuries.
This was pretty much evident during the Tokyo Games as Didal was seen giving Leal a huge hug after the Brazilian youngster made her way to the top before eventual gold medalist Momiji Nishiya of Japan, also 13, stole the show.
“I mean, that’s how skateboarding is. It doesn’t matter what your nation or culture is, or what language you speak ‘cos we have the same passion,” said Didal, who will soon return to action and compete in the Street League Skateboarding in Salt Lake City late this month.