ADELINE DUMAPONG ANCHETA
Une championne philipienne handisport ...
3° DES JEUX PARALYMPIQUES IPC - 82,5 kg : 2000
6° DES JEUX PARALYMPIQUES IPC + 82,5 kg : 2012
CHAMPION DU MONDE IWAS + 82,5 kg : 2009
5° CHAMPIONNAT DU MONDE IPC - 82,5 kg : 2002
2° DES FESPIC GAMES IPC - 67,5 kg : 1999
2° DES FESPIC GAMES IPC + 82,5 kg : 2002
VAINQUEUR DES JEUX D'ASIE + 86 kg IPC : 2015
2° DES JEUX D'ASIE + 86 kg IPC : 2014
2° DES JEUX D'ASIE + 82,5 kg IPC : 2010
D'ASIE APF + 90 kg : 2006
VICE-CHAMPIONNE D'ASIE IPC + 86 kg : 2013
67,5 kg IPC : 75 kg
RECORD PERSONNEL - 75 kg IPC : 95 kg
RECORD PERSONNEL - 82,5 kg IPC : 110 kg
RECORD PERSONNEL + 82,5 kg IPC : 110 kg
RECORD PERSONNEL + 90 kg APF : 120 kg
INTERVIEW ( en anglais par Michelle Favis )
talking to Adeline Dumapong, it's easy to forget that she's a celebrity. This
chatty and energetic woman talks easily about anything and everything -
careers, kids, relationships, and more. But good-natured Dumapong is the
Philippine athlete who shocked her country - and herself - when she won the
bronze medal in Powerlifting at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Dumapong, a twenty-eight year old woman with polio, was born in the mountain province of Ifugao, located in the northern part of the Philippines. As a child, she moved away from her family to Metro Manila, where she lived in Bahay Magapagal, a housing institution for children and youth with disabilities. Although she says that she missed her family tremendously, the move opened up opportunities for her: opportunities to obtain an education, build strong relationships with other people with disabilities, and develop a passion for sports.
Today, Dumapong - a mother and an athlete - is looking beyond all the medals and the country's focus on her athletic successes. She cares less about the public spotlight than about gaining positive experiences abroad, raising her daughter Alyssa Mae, and earning respect for professional athletes with disabilities.
The Ultimate Paralympic Experience
Dumapong, who is called "Ads" by her close friends, recalls her experiences at the 2000 Paralympic Games - her first Paralympics - with a sense of excitement and intensity. Smiling, she says confidently, "To represent one's country is an honor. While I was training here in the Philippines I was very positive and I felt that nothing [could] intimidate me." In fact, before heading to Sydney, Dumapong competed at various international events to prepare for the big one. Her participation at these events was a chance to travel to several countries that she had always dreamed of visiting, including Malaysia and the United States. Dumapong describes the thrill of meeting many athletes with disabilities from around the world, including one American man who wanted to marry her. She declined his unexpected and "tempting" offer. But she fondly remembers him, along with the other fascinating people she encountered abroad. "Traveling as an athlete has changed me [by exposing] me to different places and people. [It] made me more accepting of others and made me dream bigger," she says.
Although she gained experience during these first international sports events, she learned the most about international competitions and the pressure of representing her country at the Paralympic Games. "When I was already in the competition, I was quite intimidated by the other athletes, especially those who came from the so-called developed [countries] like the USA, China, UK." Dumapong noticed the vast difference in resources between her country and the other competitors' countries: "They [had] their own coaches and trainers with them. I think they even [had] their own doctors and nurses. The athletes were very confident and some were very loud." Dumapong chuckles when recalling other athletes getting their arms and backs massaged and being attended to closely by their line of supporters. She points out that her coach, trainer, doctor, nurse, and friend were "all rolled into one." Dumapong, whose athletic career is aided by a non-governmental organization and limited government funds, never received the levels of financial support that other athletes from wealthier countries, and even non-disabled athletes in her own country, have received. Dumopong says, "That really pushed me to a corner, literally, and made me pray really, really hard."
Dumapong's steady praying and fierce determination enabled her to lift 110 kilograms, which won her the bronze medal. She is the first and only Paralympian to bring a medal home to the Philippines - an accomplishment that caught the attention of the Philippine masses and the government. She says, "When I won in the Paralympic Games, I think that Filipinos, especially those who are in Philippine sports did a double take. I showed them that [people with disabilities] can bring honor to the Philippines."
However, the public failed to provide Dumapong with the same attention that Olympic champions garner. One reporter noted that "Sadly, despite her amazing feat, the wheelchair-user from Ifugao did not receive the usual pomp and pageantry awaiting an Olympic medal winner, including the traditional ticker-tape parade." Dumapong realizes that her disability gives rise to the public's inability to provide her the same respect and consideration given to athletes without disabilities. As a result, she uses the media's focus on her win to share some of her life experiences as a woman with a disability. Her media exposure has forced places, such as the SM shopping mall to modify their features to be wheelchair accessible, and motivated many people with disabilities to pursue athletic endeavors.
Since the 2000 Paralympics, Dumapong has kept herself busy by working and playing in the Rondalla, a musical group of young people with disabilities. She also assists Philippine Sports for the Differently-Abled (PHILSPADA) with various events. In May 2002, she gave birth to Alyssa Mae, her first child. When asked if motherhood has changed her, Dumapong replies, "I cannot fully explain it. But I sure cannot go out with friends anytime like before. And I cannot have 8 hours of sleep straight!" On a more serious note, she states, "The discipline I have learned as an athlete and the love I discovered inside me when I became a mother have made me...a better person than before."
Nowadays, Dumapong balances her time between caring for Alyssa and training for international powerlifting competitions. Her first competition in two years was the World's Bench-Press Championship in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia, which was held the last week of August. She has also qualified for the Far East and South Pacific Games (FESPIC-Asian) in Busan, Korea, which take place this October. Qualifying for and competing in these tournaments will improve her prospects for representing her country again in the 2004 Paralympic Games, a goal that Dumapong continues to strive for. These competitions, she notes, are an opportunity "to prove myself all over again." They also fulfill her love for competing in sports, and help to defy the social stigma of disability. She explains, "Having won in the Paralympics is just a novelty for some, and after the novelty fades, it's back to the old outlook and perception." Nevertheless, Dumapong is an athlete who trains, competes, and aims to honor her country like other dedicated and professional athletes. With a serious look on her face, she states, "Hay naku! Filipinos have still a long way to go in order for disabled people to be treated as equals!"
But seconds later, her gleaming smile reappears.
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