Filipino boxer Nesthy Petecio dedicates silver medal to LGBTQ community
Nesthy Petecio, an out lesbian boxer from the Philippines, dedicated her silver medal in the women’s featherweight boxing at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo to the LGBTQ community.
29-year old Petecio later lost the gold medal to Sena Irie of Japan in a unanimous decision from the five judges, though the scoring had it close for the two fighters.
Nesthy Petecio: A win for the community
Petecio said after her bout: “I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. Go forward, fight! This win is also for you.”
“Whatever your gender is, as long as you have a dream, keep fighting,” she said.
In an interview with ESPN after her fight with Irie, Petecio said that she wanted to dedicate a gold to her coach, Nolito Velasco, but had to settle for the silver.
She added: “We came up short, but I did my best in the ring.”
Petecio had previously fought against Irie, with her all-time record against her now at three losses against one win.
Nesthy Petecio’s rise to boxing champ
She also dedicated her win to her family, her fans, and her country: “It’s not just for me. It’s for my country and the Filipinos that prayed for me.”
“It means a lot to me because it’s my father’s dream, and it’s also my dream,” she said.
Petecio came up from a hard childhood in the Philippines where she collected chicken guano that her father would sell as manure.
Despite boxing being male-dominated in the Philippines, she began the sport at the age of 7. She was discovered at the age of 11 when she defeated an older, bigger, and more experienced boy.
Further training led her all the Olympics where she scored the first Olympic women’s boxing medal for the Philippines, and the country’s first Olympic boxing medal overall since 1996.
Women boxers is all about the respect
While she’s already won one medal, she hopes to bring more during the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.
Petecio said, “We’re still chasing the gold. We’re not done.”
“A lot of people think that boxing is only for boys. But as women [boxers], we already earned the respect,” she said.
Petecio competed in the Olympics together her teammate, Irish Magno, who is also part of the LGBTQ community. Both were the first Filipino women to compete in boxing at the Olympics.
While Magno didn’t win any medals, she was the first Filipino women to qualify for the 2020 Games.