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5 facts about Margielyn Didal, the internet’s fave skateboarder


Every time I see a Margielyn Didal clip on my feed, I wonder, “Did they save this video or did this video save them?”

The 22-year-old skateboarder from Cebu City earned not only the 7th spot in the women’s street skate at the 2020 Olympics, but also tons of new supporters—sports enthusiasts or not (shoutout to the Brazil chapter). Her character definitely shone throughout the competition, and as dubbed by the Tokyo Olympics, we wish to get that “Margielyn Didal seal of approval,” too. 

While we all line up to be Margielyn’s next friend, here are a few fast facts about the athlete-slash-everyone’s internet fave that will make you stan harder.

She started skateboarding at 12

Didal grew her talent in the streets and shopping malls of Cebu—the same places where she worried about getting caught by police. But, as the official Olympics website says, Didal describes it as “part of the thrill.”

“Hinahabol kami ng pulis ng security ‘pag may nakikitang nag-i-i-skate,” she said, according to an ABS-CBN report in 2018. “Minsan ‘pag nasa mall ‘pag may hawak na skateboard bawal nang pumasok.” 

(We would get chased by security guards when they would see us skating. Sometimes, when they see you holding a skateboard upon entering the mall, they won’t allow you to enter.)

At 12, skateboarding “felt normal” for the star athlete, as if she were “floating and that was super cool.” 

“On the same day, someone tried to teach me how to do some tricks and I learned it the same day,” Didal says. She saw skateboarding as an “escape from problems,” as the sport requires your full attention on your movements and tricks. Hence, a breather from overthinking.

She calls for more skateparks in the Philippines

Of course, the “getting caught by the police” part makes for a bigger message: The lack of skateparks in the country. This has been Didal’s consistent call as well. “Philippines, wake up po tayo, first day, first event natin [sa skateboarding], we got three medals in one day,” she said during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, where the Philippines bagged two gold medals. “We need to wake up, we don’t have a skatepark yet.”

After her stint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Didal reiterated her request.  “[I] wish we can have good skatepark/s in [the] Philippines too so that I can share how fun skateboarding is,” she wrote on Instagram on July 29. 

In 2018, after Didal took home gold in the Asian Games, Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña swore to build a skatepark for other skateboarding aspirants. Talk about her impact. 

With the help of sponsors, Didal was able to have a skatepark built in Cebu—a way for her to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. “Before I made the design, I talked to Margielyn first. What kind of obstacles she wants and needs for her to improve. I’m always basing my design from Margielyn’s ideas,” said builder Boots Brandon Aganas in April 2021.

She’s the breadwinner of her family

The kid of a carpenter father and a street vendor mother, Didal’s goal has always been to help her family escape poverty. She would accompany her mother to sell kwek-kwek and tempura near a church in Lahug, Cebu City.

“I didn’t have my own skateboard so I had to borrow one, but then they invited me to go to skate events—just small contests—and I got some prizes and a bit of cash. I was thinking I could buy rice,” Didal reveals in the Olympics’ official page

She was the first Filipino rep in various skateboarding events

She’s been reppin’ real hard for years. The first Filipino to join the X Games and the Street League Skateboarding in London? Check. 

“I just want to show everyone that skateboarding is a serious sport, and that it can be fun as well,” Didal said after bagging gold at the 2018 Asian Games.

She… is peak chaotic energy

I mean, just look at this video of her homecoming. 

And this photo-turned-meme we’re still thinking about.

May we all grow up to be Margielyn Didal—an icon who celebrates the wins of others. 

Read more:

Margielyn Didal just placed Filipino skateboarding on the Olympic map

Beyond the boards of Cebu’s skate community 

4 sports-themed anime for weebs who hate sports

Art by Yel Sayo

Photos from Margielyn Didal’s Instagram account (Photos 1 and 2 by Dani Bautista, photo 3 by Anthony Claravall)



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