Everything you need to know about PH gymnastics superstar Carlos Yulo

6 days ago
PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

Carlos "Caloy" Yulo had quite a haul in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

The 19-year-old artistic gymnastics golden boy captured a total of two gold medals (individual all-around, floor exercise) and five silver (still rings, pommel horse, vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar) in the men's competitions at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

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Midway through the events, Caloy told reporters that he's "not satisfied" with his showing. "Better po 'yung trainings ko kaysa sa competition. (Pero) masaya naman po. Hindi rin naman ako nag-e-expect."

Still, he's on track to have one of the best individual medal outputs in this year's biennial multi-sport event.

Get to know the diminutive PH gymnastics superstar better:

Achievements at a glance
2018 Asian Games - 7th place
48th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships (2018) - bronze in floor exercise, the first Filipino to earn a medal at a world gymnastics championship
2019 World Cup Gymnastics (Melbourne circuit) - gold in floor exercise
2019 World Cup Gymnastics (Doha circuit) - bronze in floor exercise
49th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships (2019) - gold in floor exercise, 10th in overall men's individual all-around, the first Filipino to win a world gymnastics championship, and second Filipino to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Southeast Asian Games (2019) - gold medals in individual all-around, floor exercise; silver medals in still rings, pommel horse, vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar

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He got it from his father

Apparently, Caloy has his dad to thank for his championship-caliber flexibility. His mother Angelica shared, "'Yung father niya street dancer dati nung ka-binataan niya. Until now kaya niyang mag-backflip, kaya niyang mag-back handspring, at kaya niya ring mag-full twist."

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'A walk in the park' literally introduced him to gymnastics

Caloy's grandfather Rodrigo recalled how their bonding moments in Manila led the former to the sport: "One time may lumapit sa amin na gymnast and may kaibigan din siya na nagturo sa amin. Tapos sinabi nila, bakit hindi kami sumali ng gymnastics doon sa may Rizal [Memorial Complex]."

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He almost gave up last year

After a disappointing seventh-place finish in the 2018 Asian Games, Caloy actually thought of quitting gymnastics. He revealed, "Hindi ko siya kaya. Susuko na ako. Sinabi ko na rin sa coach ko na magku-quit na ako kasi sobrang wala po, parang tae. Hindi maganda 'yung sobrang training ko. Paulit-ulit, hinihintay ko na lang matapos."

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MORE FROM SPIN
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    He was the first Filipino to reach the final of the world championships

    Before his greatest career achievement in February, Caloy already made history when he won a bronze medal in the floor exercise apparatus final of the 48th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha, Qatar last year. He set himself up for the podium with a third-place finish in the floor exercise event, despite placing 23rd out of 24 finalists.

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    He dominated his non-ASEAN rivals

    The 4'11" gymnastics superstar outclassed bigger and better competition in joint runners-up Japan's Hibiki Arayashiki, Spain's Rayderley Zapata, and Great Britain's Dominick Cunningham on his way to capturing gold in the floor final of the 2019 World Cup Gymnastics in Melbourne, Australia.

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    He was the second Filipino to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

    Just a month after EJ Obiena passed the Olympic qualifying standard for pole vault, Caloy also secured the country's second spot in the prestigious Games via the 49th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He finished 16th in the preliminary individual all-around qualification. (He would later finish 10th in the men's all-around finals.)

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    He was the first Filipino to become a world gymnastics champion

    A few days later, Caloy earned the distinction of being the first male Southeast Asian gymnast to capture the gold medal in the men's floor exercise of the same world championships. The Philippine national anthem was played for the first time in the history of the global gymnastics showcase.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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