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Posted on June 25, 2012 by Human Nature

Akiko Thomson-Guevara: The Heart of a Champion

"When I think of Filipina women, they're strong and very resilient. I'd like to think that I am too. And that's what kept me in the sport as long as I was."

"When I think of Filipina women, they're strong and very resilient. I'd like to think that I am too. And that's what kept me in the sport as long as I was."

Known for her powerful kicks and flawless strokes, Southeast Asian Games and Olympic medalist Akiko Thomson-Guevara has brought much pride to the country.

Despite not having a drop of Filipino blood in her (she is actually half Japanese and half American, and was naturalized as a Filipina citizen by the age of 12), her love for the Philippines is what drives her to be the best, making her a true Filipina at heart.

Akiko’s career as an Olympic swimmer was not always smooth sailing. She faced several challenges along the way but being a Filipina athlete has always given her a sense of purpose and mission for the country. As one of the commissioners at the Philippine Sports Commission as well as a founder of her own swimming program for children, Akiko continues to preach the same values that has guided her own sports career: to be disciplined in honing your craft, to play fair, and to enjoy doing so.

Admired by many, Akiko has proven that being a world-class Filipina starts by loving the Philippines and more importantly, loving its people.

I don’t have Filipino blood, my father was American, my mother is Japanese and we moved to the Philippines when I was six months old and I was naturalized a Filipino for sporting reasons by presidential decree and I feel like I’m an adopted Filipino and although I have no blood, my heart is Filipino… I feel most Filipino…

“When I think of Filipina women, they’re strong and very resilient. I’d like to think that I am too. And that’s what kept me in the sport as long as I was.”

AKIKO IN ACTION

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Akiko with her medals from the 1991 Southeast Asian Games in Manila

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At the Rizal Memorial Pool during the 1991 Southeast Asian Games in Manila

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Being officially appointed in Malacañang as one of the Commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) with President Noynoy Aquino, PSC Chairman Richie Garcia, and other PSC Commissioners


This post was posted in Pinay and Proud - Profiles