John Chicano : Dating Janitor , SEA Games medalist na ngaun!

John Chicano : Dating Janitor , SEA Games medalist na ngaun!

He gave his country the 1st gold for the 2019 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games.

Triathlete John Leerams Chicano or more popularly known as “Rambo” in the triathlon community, finished the line no.1 to win the gold in Subic Bay’s Boardwalk, which is a stone throw away where he used to work as a – Janitor.

Yes, you read it right the country’s pride was once a janitor before he was trained to be the elite athlete that he is now.

2019 SEA Games gold medalist John Leerams Chicano
(photo credit to PDI)

His story started when in the junior ranks he was a promising cyclist but in 2007 he suddenly became a father.

Reality sets in and, Chicano needed a job to support his baby girl, so his father took him to a regular customer’s bike shop to work as a janitor and helper.

It was like serendipity when only to find out the bike shop’s owner turned out to be Melvyn fausto, coach for the national triathlon team.

“First we trained him as a bike mechanic,’’ said Fausto. Because he was already a cyclist, Fausto decided to turn him into a triathlete. He taught him how to swim from zero. In three months, Chicano became a triathlete.

Within one year of training he was good enough to compete in the Subic International Triathlon and he was starting to win races, in 2009 he was already a full pledged member of the national team.

It was in 2017 was his first foray in the Southeast Asian Games , he was the back up of another Filipino Nikko Huelgas who was trying to defend his 2015 title. In that race, Huelgas encountered problems in the bike leg of the competition, Chicano instead of sprinting his way to that leg stayed with his teammate and towed him throughout of that leg.

Huelgas was able to recover while he was just drifting behind Cicano. Both of them were able to finish the race as 1 and 2. Huelgas with fresher legs was able to win and defend his title, while Chicano was so wasted in the run leg settled for the silver medal.

Huelgas, made sure the sacrifice of Chicano would not be unnoticed, the former acknowledge the help of his teammate in his way of getting the gold.

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Report from PDI

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