Despite lucrative offers in US, why Carlos Yulo stuck it out with Japanese coach

Brian Yalung

Posted at Oct 14 2019 08:28 AM

Carlos Edriel Yulo scored a milestone over the weekend, becoming the first Filipino to win a gold medal at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Germany. The 19-year-old’s triumph also punched his ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the feat.

Yulo is scheduled to fly into the country Tuesday and expected to get a hero’s welcome. Among those expected to welcome him are his parents, Angelica and Mark Yulo.

Even before Carlos competed in Germany, both acknowledged that their son faced tall odds. He needed a podium finish to book his place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but needed to get past veteran gymnasts.

“Ako po, di talaga nag-e-expect this 2020. Kasi kalaban niya is mga beterano na talaga. Yung iba title-holder na. Sa kanya, baguhan pa siya. Di ko naman inaalis pag-asa ko na masilat niya. So kung bibigay ni Lord, super thankful kami,” said Angelica before Caloy pulled off the feat.

Looking ahead, the next immediate goal for Carlos is winning the gold medal. The Yulos acknowledged that expectations are high on Caloy. In fact, they said that nothing short of a gold medal is expected from their son.

“Sa SEA Games naman medyo kampante ako sa kaniya. Kaya naman niya po,” Angelica said.

When asked what could motivate Carlos, she revealed that her son mentioned something to her -- a promise.

“Bago po siya umalis nung huli, sabi niya hintayin namin siya this year. ’Yun nga, may balak daw po siya umalis dito sa lugar namin kasi medyo toxic sa may amin. So ’pag andito siya, hindi siya makatulog ng maayos, di sya makapagpahinga. Ang sabi niya, ‘Hintayin niyo ako this year, ma, after SEA Games,’ ”  Angelica said.

For the proud mother, she believes this will be her son’s motivation heading into the SEA Games.

“Siguro, ito ’yung motivation niya para kunin niya ’yung gold medals,” she added.

Yulo turned down US offers

Even before ruling the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Germany, Carlos has done more than enough to get noticed. In fact, Angelica revealed that her son had been invited by American schools on full scholarship but turned them down. The reason? Loyalty to Japan.

Carlos does not want to part with his Japanese coach, Munehiro Kugimiya. Had he accepted any offer, it meant that he would cut ties with his current coach. He feels that he owes much to coach Kugimiya who is also behind Caloy's success.

“Syempre po kasi ’yung utang na loob niya kay coach Mune (Munehiro Kugimiya). Kasi siya na ’yung naghirap sa kaniya. Siya na ’yung tumayong tatay niya sa Japan. Si coach Mune na ang gumawa ng lahat para sa kaniya,” Angelica said.

“So kung tatanggapin niya ’yung alok ng US, hindi na si coach Mune hahawak sa kanya. Tinatanaw lang niya ’yung utang na loob sa kaniya kaya dinecline nya ’yung offer.”

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