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Filipina Gymnast Emma Malabuyo Wins Bronze, Joins Philippine Team For Paris Olympics

Emma Lauren Malabuyo, 21, clinched the bronze medal in the Individual All-Around at the Women's Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships in Uzbekistan on Friday evening. This victory also secured her a place at the Paris Olympics this August.

Despite the Chinese gymnasts taking gold and silver, who had already qualified for the Olympics, Emma's third-place finish made her the highest-ranked gymnast eligible for qualification.

"I've been so persistent; I never gave up on this dream. I never gave up on myself. And I really fought so hard just to get here. So much pressure, I could feel it, but I gave it my all," Emma said.

Emma will be joining fellow gymnasts Aleah Finnegan and Levi Ruivivar in the women's events and Carlos Yulo in the men's gymnastics event. She expressed immense pride and joy in representing the Philippines at the Olympics.

"I am so thankful to represent the Philippines. Just seeing all the love and support and the encouragement means so much to me. It reminded me so much of back home at our Filipino parties. I want to inspire future generations of Filipina gymnasts, but getting this opportunity means so much to me, and I can't wait to represent the Philippines," she added.

Born in the USA, Emma is a full-blooded Filipino and a junior at UCLA, studying Communications while competing in gymnastics for her university.

"College gymnastics helps so much, especially with handling the pressure of gymnastics. This is such a high-pressure event. I practice this so many times, so I think I have the mental still down. College gymnastics is really excellent about executing your routines to be the best you can be," she explained.

Emma also thanked the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) for their support. "I'm so grateful to Cynthia [Carrion, GAP President] and all the work she has put into this. And I thank her for believing in me."

Carlos Yulo has been one of Emma's inspirations. "Seeing him compete and deal with all the pressure and how he thrives is so inspirational."

Emma's favorite events are the Beam and Floor. She will return to Los Angeles for her final exams and prepare for the games.

Although she has never been to the Philippines, Emma plans to visit after the Paris Olympics.


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