Nikko Huelgas draws from history of losses and rises to become back-to-back SEAG triathlon king
Nikko Huelgas says he's had plenty of losses, which taught him a lot to get to where he is now. Jham Mariano

EVERYBODY loves a winner but every victor was once a loser who never gave up no matter how hard it was.

Southeast Asian Games triathlon king Nikko Huelgas is no exception.

The celebrated triathlete shared his losses - both in life and on the races - before he became one of the country’s best and the Southeast Asian region’s top triathlete for the past two editions of the biennial meet.

Coming from a golden feat in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Huelgas could not even remember how many gold medals he already has in his gallery but he stressed that those mints don’t make him a true champion.

“I can assure you that I have more losses than wins,” revealed the 26-year old athlete, who was rejected many times as a basketball player, badminton player and as a swimmer. 

“And I always tell myself that it’s okay to lose because it’s a blessing to be able to learn something new from your loss than sa win. Dahil madami akong talo, mas madami akong natututunan,” he added.

Huelgas, who bagged a back-to-back gold medals in the biennial meet, pointed out that a champion is not defined with his wins but the losses he was able to overcome.

“A champion’s mindset is someone who’s not afraid to lose,” he said. “Kailangan malakas ka magsugal, mabigat ka magsugal sa mga pangarap mo kasi mas mabigat ang pangarap, mas mabigat ang sugal.”

After the SEA Games, Huelgas will see action in the Powerman Philippines Duathlon on October 8 and in the Ironman Phuket 70.3 on November 26. But before he embarks on more feats, SEAG gold medalist shared his tough journey that got him where he is now. WATCH

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