Cebu City, Philippines—Amputee triathlete Alex Niño Silverio has really come a long way after he joined the physically demanding sport in 2017.
Aside from beating depression brought by the unfortunate accident that resulted to losing his entire left arm, Silverio has more reasons to be proud of himself as he is now part of the Philippine national team under the Talisay Luigi Triathlon Group (TLTG) Go For Gold Philippines.
The 31-year old para triathlete, a native of Compostela town, north Cebu is training hard right now with the hopes of competing in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) Para Games this October in Vietnam.
“I’m very happy to discover this sport a few years ago because I became an inspiration to many. I have more friends now, I met different people and most of all I can give honor to our country because we’re going to compete in other coutnries soon,” said Silverio.
Silverio who started competing in 2018 with the Parklane Tri Team of the Cebu Parklane International Hotel, said that his path to success in triathlon wasn’t that easy given his disability.
“As a disabled athlete, it’s very difficult for me. At first I thought everything was impossible to work out. In my chosen sport; triathlon, I started it without knowing how to swim, but I persevered and worked so hard to learn.”
“I always remind myself to believe that I will learn and improve. There were times I almost drowned because I only have one hand to swim, I almost quit that time because I got tired, but I didn’t give up. I trusted my coaches, to myself and of course to God that I can endure all the challenges in front of me.”
One of the reasons why Silverio continues to sharpen his skills in triathlon is to inspire amputees and persons with disabilities (PWD) like him. He wants to send a message that that their disability is not a hindrance to their success.
“Do not let yesterday take up too much of today. Just don’t give up. It is okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to get tired, but never surrender because I really believe hardwork always pays off,” said Silverio.
Also, he reminds everyone to strengthen their faith on God.
“I am well aware that God will never fail us. Based on my experiences, he will not leave us alone, he will be our guide always regardless how big our problem is. Pair your faith in God with hardwork and perseverance and surrender everything to him.”