When your child wants to start a sport, you get them new gear, and even if you aren’t that well-off, you still find a way to get them that gear. But what if there really is no way your family could afford it?
Rhea Bullos, an eleven-year-old girl from Iloilo, Philippines just took home three gold medals in a local sports competition without any shoes!
Why didn’t Rhea Bullos have any shoes?
According to a report from the Straits Times, Rhea and her team mates only had one pair of running shoes between them. Since she could run well enough without shoes, she just taped her soles and toes with packaging tape and drew the Nike swoosh logo onto the top of her feet.
And she still took home three medals! She won the 400 metres, 800 metres, and 1,500 metres event at her local school athletics meet.
In the same report, Rhea’s trainor, Predirick Valenzuela, said that Rhea shone with raw talent after taking up athletics only a month ago. If she could win without shoes, then a pair of running shows with certainly make a huge difference.
Rhea Bullos is given shoes by local mall
Her trainor also said in a phone interview to the media that, “Winning three medals in a competition like that is difficult, but she did it.
“I’m glad she won. She worked hard to train. They get tired when training only because they don’t have shoes.
“It’s every athlete’s dream to wear spike shoes. Not necessarily Nike, as long as they have decent shoes to be able to compete.”
Thanks to social media, Rhea was spotted in a local mall, SM City Naga, trying on new running shoes. The mall allegedly sponsored the purchase. She was also given socks and a sports bag for her gear.
A Filipino tabloid website tweeted the photos.
Meanwhile, netizens around the world have responded positively to Rhea’s story, where they’ve started calling on Nike to provide gear for her and her team, even going so far as to ask for a lifetime supply of shoes for Rhea.
How hard is it to run barefoot?
While running barefoot sounds painful, experts say that the foot and leg an adjust for the surface being used to run. Some athletes even buy shoes that give them the most authentic barefoot running experience but still have that protection for their skin.
According to a Harvard study, running barefoot isn’t as dangerous as it’s thought to be as long as you’re running with healthy feet on a clean, paved surface.
Lesson for athletes everywhere
With the conclusion of the South East Asian games just a few weeks ago along with the relatively poor showing of Singaporean athletes compared to previous years, fingers are undoubtedly pointing here and there, blaming organizers, personalities, and a whole host of others for the lower number of medals.
Whatever the reason for the poor showing, its important that our athletes (who actually work to bring home these medals) should remember that in the end, everything is unnecessary except for the drive to succeed and the dedication to the sport.