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Gymnastics in the Philippines

By leaps and bounds: The growth of Philippine gymnastics

Gymnastics is a very popular sport in many countries and is one of the most viewed in events like the Olympic Games. Recently, this popularity has seen a surge among Filipino people. This doesn’t surprise us, especially given the success the Philippines has seen among its athletes.

The Philippines' gymnastics medals from 2012 to 2022.

Within the last ten years, you might notice that the Philippines has been seeing an upward trend beginning in 2015. Since then, our podium finishes in the region, specifically in the Southeast Asian Games, have been more consistent. In the last four editions of the SEA Games, we’ve not only appeared on the podium on every occasion, but each one has even seen an increase in medals from the year prior.

This upward trend is noticeable on the global level too. Among two of the major gymnastics tournaments, the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series, the Philippines began with silvers and bronzes in 2018. But, from events in 2019 and 2021, we now have gold medals under our flag. 

In total, the Philippines has tallied 47 medals from various international gymnastics competitions from 2015 to 2022. Our athletes are definitely stepping up their game in gymnastics. And you may or may not be surprised to discover that half of them belong to one gymnast: Carlos Yulo. 

All-around talents

Carlos Yulo is one of the Philippines’ most decorated athletes, especially in this era of modern Filipino sports. Out of our 47 medals from the last ten years, he holds 24. Among his many medals, he has also been the only Filipino athlete with medals in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series. 

On top of this, he has medals across multiple events. The floor exercise, the vault, the pommel horse, and the horizontal bars are just some of the events that he has been on the podium for. In fact, in the recently concluded SEA Games, he came home with the highest number of medals, winning five golds and two silvers. 

Carlos Yulo is certainly one of our most successful athletes, and it’s likely that you’re more up to date with gymnastics now because of him. But, there are several other gymnasts to whom we owe our gratitude for the medals on our board.

After Carlos, the athlete with the second-highest total medal count was gymnast Aleah Finnegan. She was also the only other athlete to win a medal for gymnastics this year. With a total of four medals—two gold and two silver—she has left a strong impression. Especially for her first time representing the Philippines, she is certainly a strong addition to our roster.

It seems as though the current pattern for our gymnasts is multiple podium finishes. And the same is true for our other amazing athletes. Daniela Reggie Dela Pisa, Reyland Capellan, and Kaitlyn De Guzman have all been on the podium at least three times within the last ten years, making strong additions to our tally. 

What’s next?

Although the Philippines has enough medals to celebrate, there is still space to continue making history. Our country is still yet to see a medal in the Olympics and in the Asian Games. And this year, we have a chance of changing that.

In this year’s Asian Games, to be held in September, our gymnasts will be looking to take home a historic first medal for Philippine gymnastics. In the last edition held four years ago, Carlos Yulo came close with a fourth-place ranking. This has been our best so far. 

With the upward trajectory of Philippine gymnastics apparent throughout the last ten years, there is certainly a lot to be hopeful for in our coming events—especially with the boom in Filipino support for the sport and for our athletes.