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Janitor turned triathlete vows to pedal his way to SEA Games gold

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From mopping floor to assisting assemble bikes, little did John Leerams "Rambo" Chicano know that he would be pedaling one in search for a SEA Games gold.

As one of the country's representatives in the standard distance event of the men's triathlon, which will be held at Subic Bay on December 1, Chicano has high hopes he can bag the top post and bring honor to his family and his country.

Before he became a national athlete, Chicano was a janitor at his coach's bike shop.

According to a report by Ian Cruz on 24 Oras on Monday, Chicano was just 18 years old when he started to work for Melvin Fausto, who will turn out to be his mentor.

"Noong nabuntis ko kasi 'yong asawa ko noon, wala akong income so hinahanapan niya ako ng trabaho. Tapos 'yong dad ko talagang pinush niya ako sa bike shop noong coach, so naging janitor ako doon then helped hanggang naging bike mechanic," he said.

Little did Chicano know that being a father will change his life for the better.

Fausto saw potential in Chicano, which prompted him to give the latter a chance.

"May nakita ako sa kaniyang alam mo 'yong very teachable siya. So ako dahil noong time na 'yon, noong minementor ng mga Australian coaches isa sa project namin 'yong mga under-privileged, nabigyan namin sila ng chance to come in to the sport ng triathlon," Fausto said.

For Chicano, his wife's early pregnancy was a blessing in disguise.

"Sa mga kagaya ko, 'wag nilang isipin na balakid sa pangarap nila at mas maganda na gawin nilang motivation 'yong pangarap nila sa buhay nila," he said.

Now, Chicano, a SEA Games 2017 triathlon silver medalist, will go all out in this year's biennial meet to capture the gold medal.

FULL COVERAGE: 30th Southeast Asian Games on GMA News Online

—Ma. Angelica Garcia/LDF, GMA News

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