FOR THE past several years, Jamie Christine Lim has been waiting for the moment when she can finally talk to her dad Samboy again, and share with him her life milestones.
Among these milestones is a summa cum laude from the University of the Philippines, as well as a karate gold in the Southeast Asian Games. Both happened in 2019 — a momentous year for the young karateka.
And, despite the pandemic, which forced her to take a year off from any competition, Lim is chasing yet another achievement. She's gunning for a slot in the Tokyo Olympics as it debuts her sport this year.
What conversations and celebrations she'd have about this with her father, who was the one who introduced her to karate!
But it has yet to come.
As the "Skywalker" turns 59 today, April 1, still bedridden and in home care as he recovers from a heart attack he suffered back in 2014, Jamie is hustling from miles away, in hopes of bringing her country glory.
She is currently in Istanbul, Turkey, on overseas training with her Karate Pilipinas teammates. This is part of their preparation for the Paris Olympic qualifiers in June.
She may be physically far away, but her thoughts stayed close to her dad.
"My dad was always my idol, my role model, and my inspiration growing up. Every time I had a hard time in trainings, lost competitions, got injuries, I always looked to my dad for strength. Whenever I won, I always knew how proud he was and I look forward to celebrating with him," she told SPIN Life.
That connection goes way back to her childhood. He was cheering for her from the bleachers at every competition. when she had him by the bleachers on every competition.
While Samboy rarely spoke up, even back in the day, he had this one simple advice that has stuck with his daughter up to now.
"It's simple: Just keep working hard no matter what. When I was a kid, I lost for so many years before I got my first gold, he just told me to keep working. When I finally started winning, he still told me to keep working and not be complacent," she said. "There's no secret to him, it's just hard work and being hungrier that anyone else."
It's been quite awhile since her dad was able to witness her play, but Jamie's just kept going. She's dedicating this grind for the most prestigious sports competition in the world to him and of course, to her mom, lawyer Darlene Berberabe.
"Everything that I do and achieve is for them. [For his day] I juist want to tell him that his daughter's following his footsteps and hoping to be the best athlete that she can be, just like how he was during his time," the 23-year-old national athlete said.
She added: "The Olympic dream is really big and difficult, but I believe I can do it just as my dad believes I can."
And that's quite a tough mentality the daughter of the Skywalker has.