From almost quitting, promising young swimmer Aubrey Tom rediscovered the reason why she loved hitting the pool in the first place.
The tanker representing Rizal made waves by scooping three gold medals in the recently concluded Philippine Sports Commission-Batang Pinoy National Championships at the Quirino Stadium pool in the municipality of Bantayan in Ilocos Sur.
Tom, a University of the Philippines Integrated School grade 10 standout, ruled the girls’ 13-15 400-meter individual medley gold, 100m freestyle, and 200m IM — winning three of her five events.
Her medal haul, which included a silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 50m butterfly, is proof that the 15-year-old tanker has a good swimming career ahead of her.
Tom won five gold medals in the 2019 edition of Batang Pinoy in Puerto Princesa in Palawan before the pandemic stopped her momentum.
She then felt a diminishing desire to continue competitive swimming.
“I was very close to quitting swimming, actually, but I just can’t live without swimming,” Tom said.
“I lost motivation. I lost the meaning of why I’m still swimming,” the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 82 Rookie of the Year continued.
“And then after switching teams, I found new swim mates, teammates who push me, and I realized that I’m swimming because I enjoy it. I love swimming, it’s in my blood.”
Before her second stint in the sports meet for in and out-of-school youth athletes aged 15 and below, Tom helped UPIS take a runner-up finish in UAAP Season 85 last month.
The sister of Azkals Development Team forward Dominic Tom won two gold medals in 200m fly and 50m fly and silver in 200m IM and 400 IM. She also bagged silver and bronze in relays.
Tom, who back in 2019 also joined and won in the 3K run of MILO Marathon Manila leg, for now, wants to enjoy the sports she loves, perform at her best and let fate take its course whether she would be given the honor of representing the country in international events including the Olympics.
“We’ll never know which road I would take,” she said.
With renewed passion for swimming, there is no more quitting for Tom.