Road To Olympic Gold: Remedy Rule Started Swim Lessons The Same Time She Learned How To Walk

Road To Olympic Gold: Remedy Rule Started Swim Lessons The Same Time She Learned How To Walk
Image by @remedyrule / Instagram

After the Tokyo Olympics was postponed in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now finally pushing through this year on July 23 to August 8, to be held at different locations in Japan. This is the second time that Japan will host the Summer Olympics.

The Philippine delegation to the Tokyo Olympics is comprised of 19 outstanding athletes: Ernest John Obiena (Athletics), Carlos Yulo (Gymnastics), Eumir Marcial (Boxing), Irish Magno (Boxing), Nesthy Petecio (Boxing), Carlo Paalam (Boxing), Hidilyn Diaz (Weightlifting), Cris Nievarez (Rowing), Kurt Barbosa (Taekwondo), Margielyn Didal (Skateboarding), Elreen Ando (Weightlifting), Jayson Valdez (Shooting), Juvic Pagunsan (Golf), Kristina Knott (Athletics), Kiyomi Watanabe (Judo), Bianca Pagdanganan (Golf), Yuka Saso (Golf), Luke Gebbie (Swimming), and Remedy Rule (Swimming).

There’s so much pride and exhilaration about qualifying for the Olympics, and rightfully so. Athletes go through years of rigorous training to win a multitude of competitions and finally advance in the Olympics. Few people, though, are aware of the kind of strict discipline the athletes follow to get to this stature. Remedy Rule spoke to OneLife.ph to tell her inspiring story. 

Remedy began competitive swimming at the age of 10, and was inspired to learn the sport because her family always went to the beach. “My parents Robby and Pamela love beach vacations and wanted me to be safe in the water. I was put in swim lessons around the same time I could walk," she narrates.

"The swim instructor noticed how much I enjoyed the water and how comfortable I was so suggested I join a swim team. When I was 10, we had a new club coach come through our program who inspired an elevated level of commitment between me and the sport."

Her name, she says, came from one of her mom's travels. "My mom was traveling in Eastern Asia for work so most of the name tags were a different language / alphabet / characters, but then she spotted a name tag in English that was 'Remedy' (or very similar to Remedy--possibly a different spelling), and it stuck with her."

When Remedy first received the invitation from FINA, the international federation that administers international competitions in water sports, to the 2020 Summer Olympics, she went on a celebratory paddle boarding trip with her friend. This was her initial reaction to shake off all the adrenaline from her body.

Remedy Rule was given the universality place for the Olympics. “Universality places are reserved for NOC’s with no athletes who have achieved an OQT or OST time. These NOC’s can enter “a maximum of one man and one woman, provided that those athletes participated in the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 and/or are approved by FINA to compete,” FINA states.

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She graduated college from the University of Texas in Austin in 2019 and has trained with them ever since. "I grew up abroad in the States. It's been a dream representing the Philippines--both getting to do what I love and connecting with the culture my mom comes from."

To prepare for the Olympics, Remedy’s summer training schedule involved swim trainings ranging from 1 to 4 hours a day and weights training every other day. She also never forgets to include recovery strategies in her preparations throughout the week, even on Sundays.

Remedy’s summer schedule:

The pandemic also took a toll on the careers and welfare of athletes, Remedy says. “This past year has been a roller coaster--both physically and emotionally. In the initial lockdown, it was the longest time I had been out of the water since I began swimming year-round at age ten. I was out of the pool for seventy days.”.

Remedy got through this tough time by “[taking] up running, biking, and incorporated more cardio into my weightlifting. I also exercised with Nike Training Club (mainly yoga), YouTube Channels, and Insanity. I loved the life I was living pre-COVID and it was taken away. It was challenging adjusting to life during the pandemic. And it was okay to grieve, I had lost something. But I still had so much to be grateful for. So, to help reframe my perspective of what I was going through, I began and ended each day with a 10-item gratitude list.”

One of the things Remedy is grateful for is the support given to athletes, such as financial means for necessary expenses. The Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission help fund athletes travel to competitions. “I also represented DC Trident in the International Swim League (ISL), a professional swim league filled with elite swimmers around the world. The ISL created an Olympic solidarity fund for each of its athletes,” she shares.

Remedy mentions how her desire to reach her maximum potential, both as a swimmer and as a person, motivates her. She is not only passionate about swimming, she also loves competing. She credits her past coaches, teammates, friends, and even her competitors for inspiring her to become her best version.

“When I was ten years old, a new club coach, Ryan Sprang, came through my club team and inspired me to commit to swimming. Norm Wright was my coach from 14-18 and he showed me what was possible--bringing me to meets with some of the best swimmers in the world and showing I wasn’t so different from them.

“At the University of Texas, Carol Capitani and Roric Fink believed in me and helped me become the best swimmer and best version of myself. The Texas team has become my family and my home.

Tita Lani Velasco [of the Philippine Swimming Incorporation] also believed in me and gave me the opportunity to represent the Philippines. I have loved every chance I have gotten to represent the Philippines and all the amazing people I have been able to meet through it. Thrilled to represent the Philippines at the Olympics with my good teammate and friend Luke Gebbie,” she narrates.

The 24-year-old Filipina-American wants to encourage those who aspire to qualify for the Olympics in the future to surround themselves with people who inspire them and to fall in love with the whole process.  

Remedy’s main goal for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is to finish her races knowing that she did all that she could to make Filipinos proud. “I want to finish my races knowing I gave it my all, that I did my best, enjoyed racing at the pinnacle of my sport, and made my country proud. I am hoping to have a lasting legacy for Philippines’ swimming, both in how I compete in the pool and carry myself outside the pool,” she says.

Watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics live on free TV via TV5 and One Sports from July 23 to August 8, 2021. You can also watch the Olympic events through Cignal Play’s website and app.

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