By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

A BAD episode in life could either break or make one stronger. In the case of triathlete Andrew Kim Remolino, he has chosen the latter.

Mr. Remolino, 19, a silver medallist in last year’s Southeast Asian Games, saw their house in Talisay, Cebu, burn to the ground last month.

They were part of some 30 families affected by the fire in Sitio Linkong in Barangay Cansojong.

Much of the family’s possessions were gutted, including the athlete’s medals and bikes.

The recent tragedy was in addition to the challenges already presented by the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic that has affected his training as well as made him lose out on the chance to participate in competitions which were canceled.

But despite the recent hurdles that life has thrown at him, Mr. Remolino remains undeterred, determined to pick himself up and move on with support from his family and the entire local sporting community.

“It was unfortunate that it (fire) had to happen but we’re moving on from it. We’re thankful for the support we have gotten not only from the triathlon community but from others as well,” said Mr. Remolino in a recent Zoom interview with BusinessWorld.

He went on to say that replacements for the equipment he lost in the fire like bikes, helmets and running shoes are on their way from Manila, something he said he is very appreciative of and that he is using it as added motor to do well in the sport.

“I’m highly motivated now. Aside from what happened, the help sent our way was overwhelming and very inspirational. I want to do well in the sport and in representing the country as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for their help,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Remolino said training continues for him despite the limitations with the pandemic.

He has resumed training outside after making do with online training and workout in the previous months while also continuing with his studies.

Remolino shared he is disappointed that triathlon was not included in the initial list of sports for the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam, an event he was looking forward to especially since competitions right now are put on hold.

But he is hopeful that moves to have triathlon included in the biennial sporting event pay off so the Philippine team

could participate.

In the 2019 SEA Games held in the country, triathlon contributed five medals — three golds and two silvers. The Philippines, too, emerged as the overall champion after 14 years.

As things still remain “murky” with the pandemic, Mr. Remolino said athletes like him just have to hold up their end and stay the course.

“We just have to have a positive mindset. We must be forward-looking and continue to improve. Despite the pandemic and the difficulties it has brought we have to push through and adapt,” he said.