LAS VEGAS — Pacquiao’s life story inspired many, and among them is a young boxer in Nevada wants to be just like him, with a promising future ahead and the Olympic dream not for team USA, but for team Philippines.
Team Philippines has participated in every summer Olympic event since 1924. The last time team Philippines won a medal for a contact sport was in 1996.
20 year old Olympic hopeful, Jerry Padsing, hopes to take home that gold for the Philippines.
“I’ve always wanted to do this, its like my passion. I feel confident, my hard work. Because we’ve been winning so that’s a great start.”
On the weekends, while many of his friends are hanging out, Padsing trains with his coach in this make-shift boxing gym.
“Its been a long dream of mine, and I thank god for this opportunity that I have.. We are gonna climbed and we are gonna go on the top,” he says.
“This kid is very very special, its very rare you find someone so disciplined, so focused, like he is. That’s why, when he trains he put so much hard work.”
Padsing is now gearing up to be a part of the Philippine boxing team to join the summer Olympics in 2020.
Across town, martial artist Joseph Tolentino proudly shows off this official team U.S.A. Olympic jacket. Joseph has been competing in karate at regional and national tournaments to earn points.
“I’m positive with my work ethic, if it’s not 2020 I will make sure I will represent the U.S. and the Filipino community for further Olympics,” Tolentino says. “But till then I have a lot of work to do, and I am determined that it’s going to happen for sure.”
Tolentino says that a lot of things could happen in the span of 2 years. Tolentino is scheduled to compete in Croatia and Mexico this month.