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Igorot Boxer Hergie Bacyadan Secures Spot in Paris Olympics 2024

Igorot boxer and LGBTQ+ advocate Hergie Bacyadan qualifies for Paris Olympics, achieving her Olympic dream.

 |  2 min read

Hergie Bacyadan, an Igorot boxer and LGBTQ+ advocate, qualifies for Paris Olympics in women's 75 kg boxing.

Hergie Bacyadan has earned her spot in the Paris Olympics, becoming the 15th Filipino Olympian and the fifth boxer to qualify for the 2024 Games. She secured this achievement by defeating Venezuela's Maryelis Yriza in the women's 75 kg category during the 2nd World Boxing Olympic Qualification event in Bangkok, Thailand. Her victory, decided unanimously, showcases her skill and determination in the sport.

From Kalinga to Paris, Hergie Bacyadan, a world vovinam champion, qualifies for the 2024 Olympics.

Celebrating an Igorot Athlete and LGBTQ+ Advocate

At 28, Bacyadan's athletic career is both diverse and impressive. As a proud Igorot from Kalinga, her journey serves as an inspiration to many within her community and beyond. She stands out not only as the first athlete from Kalinga province to secure a spot in the Olympics but also as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, breaking barriers and promoting inclusivity in sports.

Bacyadan is a world champion in vovinam, a Vietnamese martial art, having won the women's combat 66 kg division in Ho Chi Minh City in November 2023. Her sports journey began in 2016 with the Philippine wushu team. She then transitioned to boxing, briefly returned to martial arts, and later embraced boxing again to pursue her Olympic dream.

Hergie Bacyadan joins Filipino athletes in Paris 2024, becoming the first Olympian from Kalinga province. Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News

Filipino Athletes in Paris

Bacyadan will join a strong group of Filipino athletes in Paris, including Carlo Paalam, who also qualified through the Bangkok tournament. The team features both seasoned Olympians and promising newcomers: boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, and first-time Olympian Aira Villegas; gymnasts Carlos Yulo, Aleah Finnegan, LeVi Jung-Ruivivar, and Emma Malabuyo; world No. 2 pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena; weightlifters Vanessa Sarno, Erleen Ann Ando, and John Febuar Ceniza; rower Joanie Delgaco; and fencer Sam Catantan.

Boxing Categories and Qualifications

The boxing competition at the Paris Olympics includes 13 weight categories-six for women and seven for men. The Bangkok qualifier was crucial, offering a total of 51 Olympic spots, with 23 for women and 28 for men. Bacyadan's qualification is not just a personal victory but also highlights the increasing prominence of Filipino athletes on the global stage.

Hergie Bacyadan makes history as the first LGBTQ+ and Kalinga Olympian to qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics. Photo: Abraham Tolentino

The Road Ahead

Hergie Bacyadan's journey to the Paris Olympics is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and hard work. Her varied athletic background and recent boxing success demonstrate the potential and versatility of Filipino athletes. As the 2024 Games approach, Bacyadan and her fellow Filipino Olympians will be a source of pride and inspiration for their country.

Her path to the Olympics shows that with determination and effort, dreams can be realized. The presence of Filipino athletes in Paris underscores a growing legacy of excellence and dedication in sports, promising a bright future for Philippine sports on the international stage. For the Igorot and LGBTQ+ communities, Bacyadan's achievements are a beacon of hope and a symbol of what can be achieved with perseverance and dedication.


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