Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Instagram/neshpetecio
Boxer Nesthy Petecio has dedicated the silver medal she won at the Tokyo Olympics to the LGBTQ community.
In emotional scenes on Thursday afternoon (4 August), the Filipina boxer came second in the inaugural women's featherweight event.
Host country Japan's Sena Irie took home the gold medal.
"I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ community"
"This win is for the LGBTQ community. Let's go, fight!" Petecio said after the fight on Tuesday (as per translation by ESPN).
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According to the outlet, 29-year-old later explained: "I was worried because I thought about getting bashed or something like that. That's why my statements were kind of limited. I didn't want to step on anybody's toes. But I am very proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. I'm not going to deny that.
"Whatever gender we may identify ourselves as, as long as we have a dream, we have to keep fighting and set aside those who try to doubt us or pull us down."
Speaking at the virtual Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Thursday afternoon, Petecio added: "I'm very proud and blessed. It was not easy getting to this stage, let alone winning an Olympic medal."
Insisting she held no resentment about taking silver, she said: "I salute Sena. She really wanted to win. We both did, really.
"This whole experience is incomparable because I won a medal in my very first Olympics. This is easily the most unforgettable moment of my life. I was only expecting a bronze, but I got a silver. The Lord is amazing."
Petecio is now planning to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
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