Universiade changed a swimmer’s outlook in life

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SUSAN PAPA

SUSAN PAPA

Parents Rizaldy and Rowena Zamora learned to decide for their children’s swimming career in a righteous way. They believed that rather than basing it on the world, they should decide through wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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They learned about Universiade and gave their daughter Genevieve Nicole (Gen) the opportunity to participate in the 2015 World Universiade Games in Gwangju, Korea.

Because of Universiade, Gen changed her outlook in life.

She is a 22-year old Accountancy graduate at the Philippine School of Business Administration. She also recently passed the Certified Public Accountancy board exam.

Gen is the sister of Sean Terence, a consistent Philippine Swimming League (PSL) Most Outstanding Swimmer.

Through the help of the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap), she made it to the Universiade.

“After being part of the blessed swimming delegation that was sent to Gwangju, Korea, I looked back and realize that a lot of things in my life have changed,” Gen said.

Sean has a long time dream of being in the Olympics, but right now; Sean is only 15 years old and has a long way to go.

“Not wanting his dream to die, my experience of being in Gwangju Universiade gave him something to look forward to,” Gen added.

She kept in touch with Sean via video calls while she was in Korea.

Yes, the Internet connection they provided the athletes in Gwangju was so fast and stable it kept them constantly connected to their relatives at home.

“I wanted him to see how and feel how amazing it was to be there, amongst more than 10,000 athletes and officials from all over the world.”

Gen and Sean saw how prestigious Universiade was, how accommodating the event organizers were and how “elite” it was to be just there.

They also saw how fair we were treated like just any other athlete, the cozy accommodation, the beautiful cultural events and tours around South Korea.

Being able to interact with athletes from other countries, they saw there is so much hope and promise for the Filipino athletes.

Given equal chances and equal footing, our athletes always have a chance to shine.

“Before the 2015 Universiade, I have said my final goodbyes to my swimming career,” she revealed.

According to Gen, her academics had always been her top priority but after experiencing such a world class sporting event, she had found that there is a way to balance academics and sports.

She discovered that Universiade was more than just an experience – that it is a symbol of hope and chance. She hopes that the next generations of athletes will continue to dream on, and dream big, bigger than they can even imagine.

In closing, she said, “Universiade gave me, and my brother Sean, most especially, the dream to become a better person and a better model for younger athletes.”

By God’s grace, may the next delegation that will be sent to Taipei Universiade keep the fire and passion burning in their minds and hearts and be good role models for the younger generations.

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