At 19 years old, triathlete Andrew Kim Remolino made his first splash into the Southeast Asian Games and bagged the silver medal after finishing second to compatriot John Chicano in the men’s triathlon category.
It was Remolino’s most memorable performance--bagging a medal in front of the hometown crowd and getting praise from team captain Nikko Huelgas, who cited him as a potential Olympian in triathlon.
In his first foray as a senior triathlete and in an international event in his home country, that silver shone like gold for Remolino.
But on July 12 last year, Remolino’s family house ini Talisay, Cebu was among the 15 houses that were razed to the ground by fire. They were not able to save anything, but fortunately, his entire family was safe.
Among those which were burned were Remolino’s triathlon gears, the Stock Visioner bike he used in the previous SEA Games and his Philippines SEA Games silver medal.
He even posted his burnt silver medal on his social media page and was picked up by several publications. A popular digital media site even made a call to “Make this burned SEA Games medal shine again” by sending a donation to Remolino sister’s bank account to help them recover from the fateful incident.
A few months later, Remolino got a new bike with the help of Storck Philippines. The current COVID-19 pandemic, however, still hampers Remolino to get going with his training.
Although he failed to finish the Olympic qualifying race in Japan last April, the young Cebuano athlete is still regarded as a future triathlon champ. The cold temperature forced Remolino’s arms to go numb during the swimming stage, resulting in a poor timing in the bike stage and paved the way for his early exit.
“Exactly a year ago, our family suffered the tragic fire accident where almost all of our belongings were lost from it. However, because of the help of our friends, relatives and the triathlon community we were able to rise up again and because of that I would just like to express my gratitude to all of those who helped us during those times especially to @goforgoldph , @phil.sportscommission and @sbrshopph.”
But this corner could not help but notice the charred silver medal in yet another socmed post. It was not the best way to remember his feat.
So immediately, I sent Remolino a message and asked him to send the medal to me and I vowed to put it back to its unblemished condition with the help of a jeweler friend.
Remolino was so excited. I won’t fail him.
So expect the transformation in the days to come.