Skateboarding

Meet Margielyn Didal - the Filipino skateboarder on the Forbes Asia '30 under 30' list

Street skateboard star also among Time magazine's list of influential teens, after impressive performances and her first moves into fashion during the lockdown.

By Ashlee Tulloch ·

Pro street skateboard star Margielyn Didal has her eyes on the future after achieving another milestone in her promising career.

The Filipino Olympic hopeful, who celebrated her twenty-first birthday on April 19th, has been named on Forbes '30 under 30' Asia 2020 list for sports and entertainment.

The list, created by Forbes business magazine, recognises 300 leaders and change makers from Asia who are under the age of 30.

She was also named on Time magazine's list of 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018.

But what's the story behind Didal's success?

Didal raising awareness in Asia

Margielyn Didal has been full steam ahead since her breakthrough success, winning gold on debut at the 2018 Asian Games.

Following that title, the Filipino began to make her mark as one of the top skateboarders in the world.

In 2019, she was dominant.

After winning back-to-back competitions in California, she won double gold at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

And she kicked off 2020 with a third place at the 2020 Tampa Pro competition in Florida.

But Didal is also a skateboarding advocate, active in promoting and lifting the awareness of the sport in her home country.

''Skateboarding is big, not just in the Philippines, not just in Asia, but in the entire world. Skateboarding is fun. Skateboard should be everywhere, she told ESPN.''

Filipino hopes for Olympic Games in 2021

The 21-year-old is on track to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, now postponed to 2021.

Didal is currently the 14th ranked street skater in the world. She needs to remain within the top 20.

She will resume competing in Olympic qualifiers once the events are re-scheduled, ahead of the Games to be held in July next year.

Skateboarding is one of five new sports which will debut in Tokyo, and Didal is eager to make her mark.

''It’s going to be the big goal in my life to get that gold medal.'' - Didal to Time Magazine,

Sneakers

The champion skater has been on a roll off her skateboard too.

During the coronavirus lockdown, Didal has moved into fashion.

Earlier this month, she announced a partnership to create her own customised pair of shoes, inspired by the colors of the Philippine flag.

Carlos Yulo - another Filipino making moves

Fellow Filipino, and world gymnastics champion Carlos Yulo also made the Forbes Asia '30 under 30' list.

The 20-year-old made history for Southeast Asia when he won bronze at the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in the floor exercise.

He made history again at the 2019 Championships as the first gymnast from the Philippines to clinch world gold in the same apparatus, in Stuttgart.

Yulo has earned a place at Tokyo 2020 and has high hopes.

No Filipino gymnast has ever won a medal of any colour at the Olympics, but Yulo is trying to change that.