Valdez Valdez in action.

The Tokyo Olympic experience for Valdez

August 20, 2021 Ed Andaya 658 views
Valdez & Father
Valdez and his father Julius Valdez.

THE Tokyo Oympics experience is bringing out the best in long-time national team member Jayson Valdez.

Now, he’s ready to take it to another level and perform like a true Olympian in future international competitions.

“Sabi nga, sobrang kakaibang experience ang Olympics. Mas nagiging positive yun mindset. You have competed against the best of the best and you always want to be like them,”said Valdez during the 114th episode of the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) last August 12.

“Ito yung namumukod-tanging kumpetisyon in my 10 years as a national shooter. Ito yung pagtapos ng competition, proud ako sa naging result ng game shots ko.

Nakangiti talaga ako. Never in my shooting career na after ng competition, pag-talikod ko nakangiti na kaagad ako,” added Valdez, who managed a score of 612.6 and finished 44th in the men’s 10m air rifle event in Tokyo.

“Madami na akong nadaluhang international competitions, pero iba yun feeling sa Olympics. I am really proud to have represented our country in the world’s biggest sporting event,” added Valdez during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB)

“Ngayon, hindi mo na iisipin na Southeast Asian or Asian level ka. Iisipin mo you’re an Olympian. You’re one of the best. Mag-iiba na yun motivation at mindset mo, pati approach sa training,” explained Valdez, who graduated with a degree of Customs Administration at Adamson University.

A two-time Asian Games campaigner in 2010 and 2018 and bronze medalist in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore n 2015, Valdez admitted the Tokyo Olympics meant a lot to him.

With the Tokyo Olympics, he fulfilled his promise to his father-coach, Julius Valdez, who won three golds and one silver in the 1987 SEA Games; and his father-figure,Tac Padilla, also a multi-awarded SEA Games gold medalist.

“Ang Papa ko (Julius), hindi sya nakapag-Olympics kahit madami na din siyang napalunan na medalya. Yung taong matagal na nag-support sa akin na si Daddy Tac (Padilla), hindi din naka pag-Olympics. Kaya ang sabi ko sa ibang interviews, parang yung dream nila ako yung nagtutuloy. Sabi ko sa kanila, ako ang magtutuloy ng mga pangarap nila. Ayoko ma-disappoint ko sila,” claimed Valdez, who also studied at the Malate Catholic School.

Valdez, who booked his ticket to Tokyo after accumulating enough points from the 2018 Asian Games in Kuwait and ISSF World Cup Serie in 2019, knows he will be a better competitor in the Paris Olympics and other events next time.

Next stops for Valdez will be the World Cup, the Asian Games and SEA Games.

“Nakita na natin yun Olympic gold thru Hidilyn Diaz. Nandito na sa atin. Sa aming ibang mga atleta, nakita na natin kung ano ang dapat gawin. I hope maibigay din sa aming ibang atleta yung ginawang suporta kay Ate Hids (Diaz) dahil naging positive naman at nakuha ang gold medal result ni Hids,” explained Valdez.

“For sure, hindi lang sa kanya, hindi lang sa mga Olympians kundi sa sa mga next athletes pa na darating. Ituloy lang yun process. I’m sure meron pang mga gold medal na kasunod.”

Valdez admitted the coronavirus pandemic affected his training and preparations.

“Actually, I only had almost three weeks of training for the Olympics. Siguro sa lahat na pumunta na Olympians, ako lang ang nakapag-training ng three weeks lang.Masyado naging limited yung time na binigay sa akin dahil nagkaroon nga ng pandemic. Hindi kami makapag-training everyday sa shooting range dahil sarado.

Personally, nag-training na lang ako. As an athlete, you have to give your best always.”

One of the problems facing the sport of shooting is finances, and Valdez admitted it could be a very expensive sport.

“Bago shooting, nag basketball and taekwondo ako dail matangkad naman ako. Tapos nag-usap kami ng Papa ko to try shooting. Kinausap namun si Daddy Tac. Sabi nya why don’t you try shooting instead of other sports,”recalled Valdez, who learned the sport at the age of 13.

“Nangako sya na susuportahan ako sa mga kailangan ko, like equipment at mga bala. From there, hindi na nya ako pinabayaan kaya talagang thankful ako kay Daddy Tac lalo ngayon nakapag-Oympics ako. Kung hindi dahil sa kanila ni Papa, hindi ko natupad ang mangarap kong mag-Olympics.”

“Pero malaki din ang pasasalamat ko sa Philippine National Shooting Association, yung NSA namin. Happy naman ako kasi laging nandyan ang aming President (Chavit Singson) at Secretary General (Irene Garcia), na hindi talaga ako pinababayaan,” added Valdez.

“Hopefully, madami pang magandang plano ang PNSA, lalo na sa susunod na taon sa Asian Games at SEA Games, na sasalihan namin”.
Valdez also encouraged the youth to try shooting at an early age.

“I started shooting at age 13. Medyo magandang start ang ganung age kasi matuto ka ng discipline on how to handle a gun. Kung nakakita ka ng baril, ano ang gagawin mo.

Usually, ang bata pag nakakita ng baril, either matatakot or itututok sa tao. Yun ang naging mentality ng lahat ng kabataan na kapag may nakitang baril, either kukunin ito para iputok or matatakot kasi alam mong malakas ang putok nito. Doon ako naturuan ng husto ni Papa at Daddy Tac. Yung disiplina sa paghawak ng baril,” explained Valdez.

“Pati brother ko na special child, talagang tinuruan din ni Papa. For example, merong baril na makita siya, hindi yun basta nya hawakan or iputok. Never din dapat na itutok sa mga tao dahil ang baril ay para sa target lang. Yan ang naging isip ng brother ko na special child, kaya sabi ko hindi rin ito basta sport. Pag naisa-puso mo ang sport, iba ang dating dahil magkakaroon ka talaga ng bagong personality.”

Asked for his advise to fellow Olympians and athletes dreaming of making it to the big stage, Valdez said:

“Don’t give up. Hidilyn (Diaz) is one good example. She did not give up in her first two attempts. Then she bagged the silver in Rio in 2016. And now the gold in Tokyo.” With reports from Gab Ferreras

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