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9 Filipino Olympic Athletes Who Have Won Medals

From Teofilo Yldefonso to Hidilyn Diaz, here are the Filipino athletes who competed on the international stage and brought back a medal (or two).
9 Filipino Olympic Athletes Who Have Won Medals
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/hidilyndiaz
From Teofilo Yldefonso to Hidilyn Diaz, here are the Filipino athletes who competed on the international stage and brought back a medal (or two).

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics have begun, and excitement is at an all-time high. While we've gotten to know the Filipino athletes who are competing under Team Philippines in Japan, it's worth looking back at the Filipinos who have won medals in Olympic history.

Since the 1924 Summer Olympics, the Philippines has participated in the games. Starting with David Nepomuceno as the sole participant, we've had several exceptional athletes represent the country through the years. From Teofilo Yldefonso to Hidilyn Diaz, here are the Filipino athletes who competed on the international stage and brought back a medal (or two).

1. Teofilo Yldefonso

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Sport: Swimming

Medal Count: 2

Teofilo Yldefonso became the first Filipino to win a medal when he competed in the men's 200-meter breaststroke in the 1928 Summer Olympics and scored a bronze. The swimmer is also the only athlete to win more than one medal for the Philippines after he competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics.

2. Simeon Toribio

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Sport: Athletics

Medal Count: 1

The Philippines won big in the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States. Along with Yldefonso, Toribio took home a bronze medal for the men's high jump alongside Duncan McNaughton, who won gold, and Bob Van Osdel, who won silver.

3. José Villanueva

Photo by FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY.

Sport: Boxing

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Medal Count: 1

The 1932 Summer Olympics victories didn't stop at Toribio. Villanueva also won a bronze medal for boxing in the men's bantamweight event. The Binondo-born boxer won against Joseph Lang.

4. Miguel White

Photo by FACEBOOK/LEGAZPI CITY.

Sport: Athletics

Medal Count: 1

Filipino-American track and field athlete Miguel White competed in the men's 400-meter hurdles at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. He won a bronze medal, besting Canadian athlete John Loaring.

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5. Anthony Villanueva

PHOTO BY Spin

Sport: Boxing

Medal Count: 1

The son of José Villanueva competed in the featherweight division at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The 19-year-old faced Soviet boxer Stanislav Stepashkin and won a silver. His loss in the gold medal match was controversial and the crowd reportedly booed the decision.

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6. Leopoldo Serantes

PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano

Sport: Boxing

Medal Count: 1

In the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Leopoldo Serantes competed in the light flyweight division. He ultimately won the bronze medal after losing to Bulgarian boxer Ivailo Khristov in the semifinals. Still, the win marked the first time in 24 years that a Filipino athlete brought home an Olympic medal.

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7. Roel Velasco

Photo by SPIN.

Sport: Boxing

Medal Count: 1

Roel Velasco represented the Philippines at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. After losing to Rogelio Marcelo in the semifinals, he then took home the silver medal.

8. Mansueto Velasco

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Sport: Boxing

Medal Count: 1

Just like his older brother Roel Velasco, Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco competed in the men's light flyweight division.The boxer defeated Taiwan's Chih-Hsiu Tsai, Cuba's Yosvani Aguilera, Morocco's Hamid Berhili, and Spain's Rafael Lozano. He won the silver medal after a fight with Bulgaria's Daniel Petrov.

9. Hidilyn Diaz

PHOTO BY Spin
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Sport: Weightlifting

Medal Count: 2

Weightlifter and airwoman Hidilyn Diaz first joined the Olympics in 2008 as the youngest competitor in her category. It was in the 2016 Summer Olympics that Diaz won the silver medal in the women's 53kg division. She is notably the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal. In the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Diaz won the Philippines' first gold medal.


*This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.phMinor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.

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