- Advertisment -

Follow Us:

- Advertisment -

Meet the Champion Swimmer Who Lost His Legs in a ‘Botched’ Abortion

-

         

We need your support. As big tech continues its crackdown on conservative blogs, our days on these platforms are numbered. Please subscribe to our mailing list so that we can continue to stay in touch with you. Please also consider a paid subscription for ad-free content delivered directly to you. Paid subscribers will also receive the additional benefit of strong and controversial religious and political opinion and argumentation.

In a 2014 interview, he told SPIN.ph, “I must have been a good swimmer even in my mother’s womb because I survived the abortion. I just swam”.

They had reported that Gawilan’s mother had decided to undergo an abortion. Although Gawilan survived, his father abandoned him and his mother sadly died of cholera when he was just 5 months old.

Gawilan was subsequently raised by his grandparents. According to the Manila Standard, he sadly suffered bullying and ridicule for his appearance during his childhood. His life changed when, aged 9, a businessman noticed him – and persuaded his grandfather to send him to a centre for youths with disabilities in Davao City.

It was there that he embraced a ‘new family’: the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic at Our Lady of Victory Training Center. Ernie relocated to Samal Island to serve as a housekeeper for the nuns in 2000. On the island, he discovered his love of water.

He explained: “When I am in the water my physical disability was not visible… I look like a normal person”.

During this time he was noticed by swimming coach, Jude Corpuz, who saw Ernie’s desire to swim and invited him to join his swim team for people with disabilities.

“We need to be fighters in life”.

By the way, did you know Reformation Charlotte has a Christian gear and apparel store? Check it out at ReformedGear.com.

Ernie entered his first swimming competition in the 2008 Philippine Olympic Festival, but he was almost thrown out after forgetting his swimming trunks. He begged officials to let him compete in his cargo pants, which would leave him at a disadvantage. He still finished second and captured the attention of Arnel Aba who came first place and then brought Ernie to Manila to join the national team.

Ernie continued to excel and went on to compete worldwide in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, India, Japan, New Zealand and Italy, winning over a dozen international medals.

In a short film released in 2017 called “Gawilan”, he discussed his passion for his sport and his reliance on the love and support of his family and coaches to succeed and overcome his history of bullying. He said, “I used to hide myself. I used to be ashamed of myself, ashamed of why I was born like this”. But, he added, because of swimming, “I felt like I escaped from a shell”.

“There’s a purpose for us in this world”, he explained. “We need to be fighters in life”.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is wonderful to hear the story of Ernie’s inspiring triumph over adversity thanks to his passion for swimming and the support of his family and friends. We wish him the best of luck in this year’s Paralympics, and in the rest of his professional endeavours”.

Ernie Gawilan, the 30-year-old champion swimmer, competed in the 2016 Paralympics and was the first Filipino gold medalist at the Asian Para Games in 2018. Now, he competed at the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo, where he carried his country’s flag in the closing ceremony.

Born in 1991, Gawilan survived an attempted abortion that left him with an underdeveloped left arm and no legs.

In a 2014 interview, he told SPIN.ph, “I must have been a good swimmer even in my mother’s womb because I survived the abortion. I just swam”.

They had reported that Gawilan’s mother had decided to undergo an abortion. Although Gawilan survived, his father abandoned him and his mother sadly died of cholera when he was just 5 months old.

Gawilan was subsequently raised by his grandparents. According to the Manila Standard, he sadly suffered bullying and ridicule for his appearance during his childhood. His life changed when, aged 9, a businessman noticed him – and persuaded his grandfather to send him to a centre for youths with disabilities in Davao City.

It was there that he embraced a ‘new family’: the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic at Our Lady of Victory Training Center. Ernie relocated to Samal Island to serve as a housekeeper for the nuns in 2000. On the island, he discovered his love of water.

He explained: “When I am in the water my physical disability was not visible… I look like a normal person”.

During this time he was noticed by swimming coach, Jude Corpuz, who saw Ernie’s desire to swim and invited him to join his swim team for people with disabilities.

“We need to be fighters in life”.

Ernie entered his first swimming competition in the 2008 Philippine Olympic Festival, but he was almost thrown out after forgetting his swimming trunks. He begged officials to let him compete in his cargo pants, which would leave him at a disadvantage. He still finished second and captured the attention of Arnel Aba who came first place and then brought Ernie to Manila to join the national team.

Ernie continued to excel and went on to compete worldwide in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, India, Japan, New Zealand and Italy, winning over a dozen international medals.

In a short film released in 2017 called “Gawilan”, he discussed his passion for his sport and his reliance on the love and support of his family and coaches to succeed and overcome his history of bullying. He said, “I used to hide myself. I used to be ashamed of myself, ashamed of why I was born like this”. But, he added, because of swimming, “I felt like I escaped from a shell”.

“There’s a purpose for us in this world”, he explained. “We need to be fighters in life”.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is wonderful to hear the story of Ernie’s inspiring triumph over adversity thanks to his passion for swimming and the support of his family and friends. We wish him the best of luck in this year’s Paralympics, and in the rest of his professional endeavours”.

This article was first published at Right to Life UK and republished here under the Creative Commons license.

         

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

We are being actively censored on many platforms because of our conservative views. The more places you follow us, the more likely we are to get our message out. Please support us by following us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, following us on Parler, following us on Instagram, and visiting our gear and apparel store. Also, please subscribe to our newsletter. If you would like to support us financially, a contribution of any amount is greatly appreciated.

Html code here! Replace this with any non empty raw html code and that's it.
- Advertisement -

Latest news

Why Todd White is the Most Dangerous Kind of False Teacher

Todd White is a charismatic preacher who is known for his parlor trick "healings" such as leg-lengthening and various...

I’m Ready to Die. I Hope You Are Too.

During the current political crisis in America and around the world, it's easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed by...

Podcast: Can Christians Support the Democrat Party? Is There Room to Disagree?

Jeff and Greg explore the idea of Christians supporting the Democrat party and what the ramifications of that would...

False Teacher of the Day #42: Jason Sobel

There are many, many false prophets who have arisen in these last days who have led many people astray...
- Advertisement -

Big Trouble: SBC Officer Says Russell Moore May Have Committed a Serious Crime

Last night, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rod D. Martin to discuss the investigation taking place in the...

Op-Ed: Fact-Checking the Favored Politicians of Big Eva Social Justice Warriors

As I watched events unfold in Afghanistan during August as well as along our southern border and saw the...

Must read

Phil Johnson Responds to Hit Piece Trying to Discredit John MacArthur

If you weren’t aware already, today, a hit piece...

Beth Moore Says She’s Going to Try to be “Less Annoying” in 2020

Beth Moore is arguably the most annoying person in...
- Advertisement -