Blind athlete guns for gold

PASIG CITY-- Thirteen-year-old Rudy Pintucan is not your ordinary athlete competing for the 100-meter dash this coming Palarong Pambansa 2017 - he is blind.

Fondly called "Kuya Rudy," he bagged three golds and a silver medal out of four sporting events during the 2017 South Cotabato Regional Athletic Association (SRAA) Meet and became national qualifier for the prestigious Palarong Pambansa. His dominance in 100-m run, long jump, and goalball designed for the visually impaired athletes was the fruit of his hard work.

He was among the children with special needs from General Santos City SPED Integrated School who showed their might and strength above physical and mental capacities in games like running, basketball, and long jump in the SRAA Special Olympics category in Kidapawan City.

Although their events are different from the games played by regular athletes, SPED athletes have the same boundless courage and enthusiasm.

Just like his peers, Rudy discovered not only new abilities but also enjoyed the rewards of friendship.

Last 2014, Rudy and his team from Gen. Santos City finished silver medal in SRAA's goalball tournament. They were the underdogs of the match because all of them were beginners. That experience inspired him to train hard. During his years of training, he sustained bruises, body pain, and minor injuries but these only made him stronger.

Kuya Rudy was 10 years old when he entered the school. His parents learned only the existence of the school through a radio program initiated by SPED Teachers. There he learned to use Braille and Nemeth codes. Rudy is also a talented singer who often performs in school programs.

Coach Christopher Lomantas is also his adviser and consistently encouraged him to be the best that he can be.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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