11-yo girl wins 3 gold medals running in custom-made surgical bandage ‘Nike’ shoes


As kids. we were told by our parents and teachers to dream big. That no dream is big enough if you have the will and strength to eventually go for it. Though sometimes, big dreams requires big sacrifices, and even bigger investment.

Rhea Ballos is a 11 year-old girl from Philippines who has a passion for running. She is an athlete, actively taking part in every possible tournament and race she comes across.

There’s one catch though. Despite her larger than life love for running, Rhea doesn’t own a pair of proper running shoes. Her family are not very well to do, and could not afford to get her even the basic gear to accommodate her sports dream.

It turned out that not having a pair of shoes is the least of Rhea’s problems. In a Facebook post that was put up by Predirick B. Valenzuela recently, the young athlete had scored three gold medals in the Iloilo Sports Council Meet representing her school.

Credit: Facebook: Predirick Valenzuela

New design of spike shoesMade in PhilippinesNIKECongratulations RHEA BULLOS of Balasan 3GOLDS400m dash ELem Girls800m run Elem Girls1500m run Elem Girls

Posted by Predirick B. Valenzuela on Monday, December 9, 2019

She conquered the 400m dash, 800m dash and even the 1500m dash in primary school category for girls. The secret to her success? The makeshift shoes that she created using surgical bandages.

Yes, that’s right. Rhea sprinted through all three races running barefoot with just a thin layer of fabric covering her feet! The cherry on the cake is the world famous Nike ‘swoosh’ she had hand drawn on the top of the bandage, with the brand name written on the side.

Credit: Facebook/Predirick B. Valenzuela

It may sound silly, but imagining her bandage shoes as an expensive pair of Nike is what really motivated Rhea to win those races. She was full of determination, and never let her lack of resources stop her from chasing her dreams.

Impressed by her achievement, the head coach of Alaska Aces, a pro basketball team in Philippines, Jeff Cariaso reached out to her with the help of his Twitter followers.

He updated the meet-up with the talented runner online and shared that he even managed to get in touch with Rhea’s adviser. Let’s hope that Rhea gets the help and support she needs to fulfill her dream.

Rhea proved to us that sometimes in life, all that matters is to Just Do It.


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