Flordeliza Baento’s journey into the Special Olympics began with a simple Facebook video, shared by her sister, opening the doors to a world of possibilities. “My sister showed me this video about what Special Olympics does on Facebook. It inspired me to join,” Flordeliza, now an athlete with Special Olympics Pilipinas, reminisces, her voice filled with gratitude for that pivotal moment.
For Flordeliza, running isn’t just a sport—it’s a passion that has seen her rise to victory, clinching gold at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin. “I’m very happy that I was able to join the competition and win gold,” she shares.
Yet, beyond the running track, lies other dreams. “I want to be a scientist and a detective,” Flordeliza reveals, reflecting both her curiosity and a desire to explore the world.
At the Special Olympics World Games Healthy Athletes screening, a series of complimentary health screenings across various disciplines, Flordeliza’s hearing issues were initially detected. Unaware of the problem beforehand, she was surprised by the revelation. Subsequently, with the aid of a hearing device, her hearing ability transformed significantly. “Without the hearing aid, there were times when I couldn’t hear clearly. But now, with it, I can hear everything, including footsteps and movement,” she explains.
“My mother and my sister, Rose, are my biggest supporters,” Flordeliza affirms, highlighting the indispensable role of her family in her journey. Their care and staunch support have been a cornerstone in her pursuit of dreams and achievements.
However, Flordeliza has not been shielded from the harsh realities of societal challenges, particularly bullying. Her approach involves highlighting the effects of actions, aiming to foster awareness and empathy among others—a manifestation of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Flordeliza’s message about inclusion echoes a plea for understanding and acceptance. She advocates for equal treatment, emphasising that individuals like her should not be ostracised or labeled but embraced as equals in society.
“Understand that we are also human beings,” Flordeliza advocates, highlighting the need for societal acceptance and inclusion. “Treat us equally. Allow us to be part of society,” she urges.
Her recent win at the World Games is testament to her commitment and capability, bringing home a gold medal for the Philippines. “I’m proud that I won gold and will bring it home,” she declares, her pride radiating through her words.
And in the heart of Berlin, amidst the thrill of competition, Flordeliza found something more profound than victory—she found a reflection of the Golden Rule in the city’s warmth and kindness. “I really like Berlin. The people here are caring, friendly, and happy,” she shares, reflecting on the city’s embrace.
Flordeliza Baento’s journey embodies the essence of the Golden Rule—an ethos that goes beyond mere words and becomes a guiding principle for societal change.
With your support, we can empower more individuals, directly impacting the lives of those striving for success and inclusion. Join us in creating a more inclusive society by volunteering and contributing towards opportunities and resources for athletes like Flordeliza, fostering a world where everyone has the chance to shine.