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Monday, July 28, 2008

Tshomlee Go: Going for Gold for the Love of the Sport

Going for GOLD!

27-year old Taekwondo Jin, Tshomlee Go is one of the country’s best bets for the first-ever, much coveted Olympic gold. Getting to the Olympics wasn’t one of Tshomlee’s goals at first, but his natural talent made him worthy to take part in the world’s most prestigious sporting event. The 2008 Beijing Olympics will be Tshomlee’s second trip to the Olympics, having competed in Athens in 2004.

Taekwondo goes beyond being a sport to Tshomlee, it’s actually a family thing. His father and two brothers used to be members of the Philippine National Taekwondo team. And at the age of seven, Tshomlee’s love for Taekwondo began.

Although his interest started when he was young, his strong desire to compete began the moment he saw his older brother on television competing at the 1999 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Brunei.

Fueled by his desire, discipline, dedication and love for the sport, Tshomlee sparred his way to a winning streak. “Importante talagang mahal mo yung sport pati yung full commitment ng athlete.” (Love for your sport is very important as well as the athletes’s full commitment to it.)

Tshomlee, along with fellow Taekwondo Jin and Olympian, Toni Rivero, trains twice a day from Monday to Friday. Tshomlee says he sacrifices a lot to train, but everything is worth it. “Walang time masyado para sa gimik at konti lang para sa pahinga pero kailangan talaga yung training.” (There’s not much time for going out and little time for rest, but training is really essential.)

Other than sparring training, Tshomlee puts gravity on mental preparation for an excellent performance in this year’s Olympics. He is more optimistic about his second trip to the games this August. “Mas mature na yung laro ko ngayon. Alam ko na yung diskarte ko.” (My game is more mature now compared to before. I already have a strategy in mind.) He adds, “I’m more excited about the Olympics this time since I’m already familiar with the flow.”

Tshomlee is far from how he was when he started out as a member of the national team. “Noon, ginagawan ko talaga ng paraan para makarating lang ako sa gym. Maraming excuse, pero kung gusto mo talaga, gagawa at gagawa ka ng paraan para makuha mo yun.” (I used to do everything in my capacity just so I could get to the gym for training. There are a lot of excuses, but if you really want something, you’ll find a way to achieve it.) The opportunities for Tshomlee started pouring in when he became a class A athlete. He was even financially independent when he started college.

Moral and financial support are two things that would greatly help our athletes. And this is why Microsoft embarked on a partnership with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in the Olympinoy campaign. The campaign aims to empower our Filipino athletes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and provide the channel for the Filipino people to rally behind the Philippine team.

“The dedication and commitment of our athletes to their respective sports and to the country is indeed worthy of praise. Through Olympinoy, we hope to provide the athletes an added boost to their morale,” stated Rafael Rollan, Managing Director, Microsoft Philippines.

Tshomlee shared, “Outside help is very valuable for athletes. I am happy that private companies are engaging in projects such as Olympinoy and extending their support to Filipino athletes.”

The bemedalled Taekwondo Jin dedicates his performance in every competition to his family, to his loved ones, to the country and to God. “My family and all the people who support me provide me the encouragement even when I’m burnt out.” The Olympian also believes that all his skills and talents come from God.

After the Olympics, Tshomlee plans to teach Taekwondo to kids and maybe join the US navy just like his father, who used to serve for the Philippine Marines.

The thrill and challenge of Taekwondo keeps Tshomlee up on his feet. With his great love for the sport, complemented by his lightning fast kicks and spars, Tshomlee is well on his way to bringing honor to the country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Blog Credit: Microsoft Olympinoy

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