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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gilmore Junio's Selfless Act

It always gives me chills when I hear something selfless is done. It touches my core – it really does. Tears just flow echoing a joy in my heart. Well, all of you would feel the same the way I do - as the gravity it brings to our hearts is so heartwarming. 

He is GILMORE JUNIO - born August 6, 1990, Filipino - Canadian, Olympic athlete who represented Canada in Sochi for 500-meter and 1000-meter race in the ice for speed skating. 

Heritage wise, he is of Filipino descent as both of his parents are from the Philippines. He earned his Canadian citizenship when his family migrated in Canada in the 70's. His olympic bid was particularly sponsored by our very own telecommunication network PLDT for this season of Winter Olympics. 

Although, Gilmore was born and raised in Calgary, he knew people in his parents' homeland would track his progress in Russia - for it's rarity for a person of Filipino origin to participate in the winter games.
And what did he do that made me claim his kind of act was so selfless? 

Before 23-year old Gilmore raced in the first Olympic event of his young career - before he was celebrated for the race he did not skate - he wanted it known he would dedicate his performance at the speed skating oval at the Sochi Winter Games to the people of the PHILIPPINES - more specifically to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
He wanted them to know he stood with them and felt their pain. "I'm glad they can look forward to my participation and cheer up," he said. But in Sochi, things didn't favor him so well - although he was a medal contender in the 500 meters last Monday, he only finished 10th place from the group of much stronger and faster speed skater from around the world. It's respectable but hardly the pinnacle of his dreams. 

It was later that evening that he swallowed his disappointment and did something amazng. Something unprecedented and that Canada could far celebrate - a classic act of selfless sacrifice. 

He gave up his second event - the 1,000 meter race in favor of his compatriot Denny Morrison. He felt that it would be so fitting if he'll let Denny run his other event in 1,000 meter as the latter is better in long distance running while he is a sprinter of great promise and better suited for 500-meter.
It wasn't an easy decision and equally not a hard one. But knowing that Denny is the rightful entry on that event if not for his unfortunate Olympics trials last year when his skate clipped on his heel that prevented Denny from earning a spot in the 1,000 meter. 

Imagine the impact of that decision? He spent four years on the national team gutting out a chance to make the Canadian Olympic team in Sochi and then when he was asked if he'd consider giving up his second event. 

But as he is always known in his team's circle as a generous young man, it was not a surprise he'd do that. His coach would attest that he has this unequalled inclination of doing things like that. And his sacrifice paid off when Denny Morrison finished silver in 1,000 meter dedicating his win to Gilmore. 

And Denny is just not finished yet with his thanks. The enormous of that favor that earned him the silver medal led him an online campaign nominating Gilmore Junio as the official flag bearer of Canada for the closing ceremony. Making rounds of tweets with a hashtag #gilfortheflagbearer. 

Proving that in the eyes of Canada, good sportsmanship is the equal of a gold medal performance. So, the rallying cry - or rather - hashtag was being tweeted across Canada. 

We still have to wait if the request made by Denny would come into fruition. But even if it won't be granted, we can take pride that a selfless act was made by a man recognizing his Filipino heritage and dedicating his performance to the survivors of that catastrophic Yolanda. 

He may have been a Canadian but his spirit is purely Filipino - a selfless man of resilience and generosity. 

Mabuhay ka Gilmore Junio. May your tribe increase! 

P.S. - Photos taken from the web. All credits deserved by the owners.


  1. Wow may isa pa palang pinoy na nagco-compete sa Winter Olympics. Ang galing naman. Napadaan ako sa Speed Skating kagabi while I was channel surfing pero di ko yata naabutan yung performance ni Gilmore. But anyways, basta may dugong Pinoy naka full support din ako. Go for the Gold!

    1. Yes Fiel, actually, as to my knowledge we have another one from the U.S. named J.R. Celski who also speed skate for sprint run. Unfortunately, he just finished 4th place a rank shorter for a bronze medal. He is of Filipina mother and Polish father. He's quite a sensation too.


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