1st Philippine Olympic Gold Medalist

21 11 2011

In a 6-hour “runabout” in Los Angeles, I was able to discover that the first Olympic Gold Medalist in both platform and sprinboard diving events in one Olympic Games is a Filipina, whose father is a Filipino and mother from England, born in San Francisco, California on December 31, 1924. She was almost 24 years old when she won the two Gold Medals in the 1948 London Olympic Games.  Her name is Victoria Manalo Draves and she is 5′ 1″ in height. She died last year at the age of 85 due to pancreatic cancer and I could not remember if her death was featured in the local newspapers.

Victoria Manalo Draves With Samie Lee (South Korean-American) (From Google Images)

I discovered her name written on a big mural inside a Public Park along Beverly Boulevard & Union Street in Los Angeles, California. It led me to research about her on the Internet.

A Public Park With A Mural Depicting the History of Filipinos In America

The Lady With The Gold Medal

The following links have lots of information about her life, training, and inspiration she shared as one of the public parks in San Franciso, California was named after her.

http://www.asianweek.com/2010/04/28/the-triumph-of-victoria-manalo-draves/http://youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com/olympic-gold-offender-victoria-manalo-draves/http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/sports/olympics/30draves.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1321819333-1U9qzxjSeRS/3lJA03nWZghttp://www.la84foundation.org/6oic/OralHistory/OHdraves.indd.pdf

Technically, her feat was not considered as part of the Philippine Sports Annals as she represented the USA Team, However, for having her roots and blood as a Filipina, it would inspire us to develop our potentials in water sports, most especially to diving. It is a shame on our part that this Filipina Lady is not fully well-known in our country. Correct me if I am wrong.

Do we have a separate sports federation for diving? I guess, it could be a part and under the PASA. PASA? Did it deliver for Gold harvest in the 26th SEA Games?


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2 responses

21 11 2011
runner4LIFE

Nice article sir. By the way, is UFC counted as sports? The recent UFC 138 winner is a Filipino born in Japan but was raised in the US. He has a Philippine flag on his banners and was dubbed as “The Filipino Wrecking Machine”.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jeff_wagenheim/11/06/munoz.ufc.138/index.html

22 11 2011
jonel c mendoza

if what i read was right, swimming under mark joseph, was one of the sports that did not deliver sa sea games, sir. nalmes dan sa.

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