A new Filipino champion forever in history, Hergie Tao-Wag Bacyadan is the first-ever Filipino LGQBT+ athlete to clinch a gold medal in the history of Vovinam sports in the 7th WVVF World Vovinam Championship 2023.
Bacyadan fought in the -66kg category and won against Russian athlete Mariana Avdeenko in the final game, scoring eight points in the first round and an additional two points in the second round.
She accumulated a total overall score of 10 points, with one of the game’s highlights being Avdeenko falling from Bacyadan’s punch after 38 seconds in the second round.
Baycadan’s win was worth all the training she had to go through with Coach Glenn Mondol. “Sulit pagod, sakripisyo, at gutom,” she wrote as a caption on her Facebook post.
She started posting behind-the-scenes training sessions starting early October, including jogging and hiking until evening in Mount Balagbag Montalban, air punching while it was raining, bug punching, and sparring with teammates.
While Baycadan set the standard in Philippine Vovinam history, he also set a good example of becoming a loving spouse and citizen in his residence in Sitio Balagbag.
In November, she and her wife, Lady, held an outreach program for the children in Sitio Balagbag and opened a water station for the residents to have a nearby water facility.
Baycadan’s outstanding feat will remain in history forever; who knows, she might turn her previous 2023 Southeast Asian Games silver medal into gold in 2024.
Her will and strength have brought her to reach what others deemed impossible; only if you raise your flag proudly will you be able to raise yourself higher than what you first aimed for.