Published in The Freeman Newspaper on Feb. 10, 2012 Friday issue
by Manny Villaruel, Sports Editor
Cebu, Philippines - Hardwork and fortitude. These are the driving force that enables the bemedalled Cebuano cyclist Luis Miguel 'Igimax" Maximo to balance sports and academics.
Maximo gamely admitted that had it not been for his perseverance, he would not have hurdled the rigors and tough demands of being a member of the Philippine Team.
And by his example, Maximo wants to prove that being a student and an elite athlete at the same time is very much possible.
"If you believe in yourself and have the determination and drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done," said Maximo.
For his gradual rise to cycling stardom, Maximo has a lot to thank for particularly his ever supportive alma mater - Paref Springdale - where he is currently the Student Council President, and to his generous sponsors that include the Cebu-based YKK Trading, Ridley, Campagnolo, Token, FSA, Vision, Lazer, Fizik, Kenda, Carnac and Santini.
"Paref Springdale has given its all-out support by excusing me from classes whenever I train in Manila and join competitions abroad," said Maximo, who used to be the skipper of Springdale Football Team.
Maximo, 16, is the youngest and the only Cebuano member of the Philippine U-23 and Junior teams that will see action in the 2012 Asian Cycling Championships set from February 8 to 18 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The teams were organized and formed by the UCI-recognized PhilCycling under its president and Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino.
"We want to bring youthful riders to Malaysia since we believe that they are our future cycling stars who will evetually make their mark in international competitions," said Tolentino.
Maximo will leave for Malaysia on February 11 to acclimatize and to study and assess the race venue including its terrain, climate and wind conditions among others. The Road Race event, of which Maximo will be the country's representative, is set on February 16.
As an athlete, it will be Igimax's first international stint since he made it to the Phl squad just two months ago. (FREEMAN)