Petecio dedicated her medal to LGBTQ people back home and publicly came out in Tokyo. She eyes a medal upgrade next month. | LUIS ROBAYO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Name: Nesthy Petecio
Country: Philippines
Sport: Boxing, featherweight
Previous Olympic experience: Tokyo 2021
Social Media: Instagram

Who is Nesthy Petecio

In Tokyo, Nesthy Petecio fought her way to an Olympic medal she has wanted from the moment she put on gloves for the first time, but it wasn’t quite the color she wanted.

Petecio lost a tough unanimous decision to Japan’s Sena Irie in the women’s featherweight gold medal bout. She earned silver and became the first Filipino woman to earn an Olympic medal in boxing.

On the victory stand she was proud of want she accomplished not only for her country, but also represent a community she publicly claimed as hers. “I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ community,” Petecio said to The Inquirer of the Philippines “This fight is also for the LGBTQ community.”

She was first spotted in a boxing tournament at age 11 in hometown Davao City. She was the only girl in her weight class and in fight against an older boy andshe more than held her own.

“The only combination I knew at that time was backward, jab straight, backward, jab straight,” she said to GMA News Online in 2021. “Papa taught me over and over. Then when I have cornered the opponent, I will multiply the punches.”

By age 15, she was a national youth champion and earned a berth on the national boxing team. In 2014, she went to her first world championship tournament, and earned silver. In 2019, after a series a narrow misses toward international podiums and failing to qualifying for the Rio Olympics, Petecio stormed through the featherweight draw to defeat Russia’s Ludmilla Vorontsova on Russian soil for her first world amateur championship.

Nesthy Petecio Petecio proudly took home silver in Tokyo and a queen’s ransom back home. In 2024 her goal is golden (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Nesthy Petecio at the Paris Summer Olympics

For getting silver in Tokyo, Petecio was not just the pride of a nation and earned a lot of Philippine pesos. According to PhilStar News, Filipino real estate companies Suntrust Properties and Ovialand awarded Petecio a condo and house worth P10 million ($201,000) and P2.5 million ($50,000) respectively. She was also given a P17 million ($342,000) incentive.

However, Petecio didn’t just take the riches and retreat. At age 32, she eyes Paris as her swan song and plans to retire after these Olympics.

Last year she won her second career Southeast Asian Games gold medal, and this past March she entered the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Italy and slugged her way to the featherweight title and clinched her spot in the Olympic draw.

“I got this ticket for so many people, especially my family, to God, and for my partner in life,” she said in the post-fight presser after winning the Olympic qualifying tourney. “I promised her that I would win the ticket to Paris. I will not stop until I get the Olympic gold medal.”

With the 2021 gold medalist in the weight class Irie retired, Petecio would be considered as a favorite. Threats loom throughout a competitive featherweight field, including follow out fighter Irma Testa of Italy, who won bronze in Tokyo. Three years ago, Petecio won a decision in the semifinals over Testa and giving their world rankings heading to Paris, a rematch is likely.

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