Despite losing his right leg in 1990, Arnold Balais (center, wearing red shirt) makes it a point to include regular exercise and sports in his daily routine. His tenacity and commitment to hurdle the difficulties in his life paid off when he won gold medals for bench press powerlifting in Malaysia in 2002 and held silver and bronze medals for 100-meter butterfly and freestyle relay swimming events at the 4th ASEAN Paralympic Games in Thailand.
Arnold has become a source of inspiration to the young athletes of CITE during the 2nd Athletes Night held August 24 to kickstart the Sportsfest on September 19-21, 2017. Day 2 of the event will be held at the Abellana Sports Complex. A Fun Run is set on September 17 (Sunday).
Balais retold his life story to the almost 50 students in attendance and the struggles he had to go through after an injury that caused infection in his right leg led to an amputation.
In an interview, he revealed: “I thought that I was ready to accept the loss after undergoing counseling. But it was difficult when the leg was gone. I experienced self-pity, low self-confidence and insecurity. I became painfully shy. I didn’t like talking to anyone and tried to blame everyone for my misfortune.”
The new life has changed his viewpoint. But the support he got from friends and families made him stronger and a positive thinker. He always thanked God for giving him strength that made him a national champion despite being differently-abled. For him, winning a gold medal is just as hard as earning the respect of others. Aside from swimming and weightlifting, Arnold also aced in other extreme sports like mountain climbing and led the PADS (Philippine Acceptable Disability Services Inc.) Dragonboat Team to its victory in the International Para Dragonboat Championships in Hongkong last June.
Arnold is also helping other people with the same disabilities as a vocational coordinator and orthotic and prosthetic technician giving counsel to patients who are candidates for amputation. Arnold is married with two daughters.
Most recently, he was chosen by Alaxan to be the face of its new TV commercial “Power Over Pain” in the hope of inspiring others to share his story with the rest of the world. Watch the commercial here and don’t forget to like. Are you inspired with this story? Leave us your comment below.