Outstanding in Academics, OLYMPIC Fencer, Filipino and Proud!: MAXINE ESTEBAN

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Hearing Maxine Esteban's achievements during a small talk a few weeks ago made much of us feel like we didn't do much in school. She was that smart, talented and crazy good. She's a breath of fresh air, who didn't want to dwell on issues. She's mighty proud of what she's accomplished as an Olympian, a severely brilliant Fencer, and Filipino.

She's taking Management Engineering in Ateneo, one of the most difficult courses to boot but she manages to still attend regular classes despite training schedules and tournaments. She tells us "I used to be an Ice Skater but the skating rink in Megamall closed. The one in Mall of Asia was too far from where I lived, so I tried to find a sport that would pique my interest. I tried Taekwondo, Swimming, tried almost all the sports, but ended up not liking it except Fencing. I really loved it because it was really fun and taught me how to mix having a grace of a woman and the strength of a man. That's what I really liked about it."

With a very strong academic background, she didn't feel pressured to do all these things. Her parents encouraged her to master musical instruments and a sport, but didn't forget to let her excel in academics. She had only wished to make her parents proud which is why she's gotten to achieve much even at a young age. There's so much sacrifice she had to endure in Fencing, after getting surgery, she had to bounce back and wanted to represented the country. Now with Ivory Coast, she won't be wasting her exceptional talent and younger years as the sport requires that much skill in winning competitions and games. 

Maxine with her supportive parents, with her Dad as her DOTA coach at home

She's currently still preparing for the PARIS 2024 Olympics slated to start this July 26 which is almost a month from now. She's in Germany and plans to stay there for training and a few competitions in Europe until the day comes. She is also set to join the African championships on June 6th in Morocco. Then will go to training camps in Poland, Hungary, then train with the Japanese and French national teams til the games commence. 

Ivory Coast reminds her much of Filipinos. She laments "They were all so welcoming and sweet because when I arrived at the airport, all of my teammates were there carrying flowers. They remind me so much of my mates in the Philippine national team whom I'm very close with. Personality wise, it wasn't a hard adjustment. There's always going to be the Filipino inside of me, I'm the one that complains to organizers if I don't see the country's flag. When I win competitions in the past, my eyes light up seeing them raise it, doing the country proud! Those simple things, you can't remove that from me. I now have the support from Ivory Coast and the Philippines, and it really means a lot to me."

As for battling a Filipino Fencer, she thinks there wouldn't be an instance to do that. She knows how talented the Philippine team is, but if it happens she's going to do her best too. Her current coach is Andrea Magro, a prolific former coach of the Italian Fencing Team, and already produced 10 Olympic Gold Medalists on his roster. He's now training Maxine Esteban with the best ones in the world and he's raring to see her do the same in Paris. Andrea dubbed Maxine as like an agile Tiger, we couldn't agree more!

Maxine laughed when I asked her for plans to join show business because she looks so pretty. She's a what you see is what you get kind of girl. She's open for sports related sponsorships though and would prefer that instead. She's now affiliated with Anta, and wearing them with confidence too.

Here's our interview with her a few days ago:

She adds "Going to the Olympics, I just want to enjoy the moment because this is my first one. I just want to make my parents and everyone who believes in me proud. There's not much pressure in me, and I think that's a good thing. My parents have been my biggest supporters ever since, even before Fencing. In every sport that I try to do, they would also encourage me. They would never really put pressure and always ask that I just do my best. That's already enough for them, my Dad had a video on ABSCBN when I lost a match and he told me not to worry about it, because they will always love me no matter what."

Her story is truly inspiring. As of now, she is ready for the PARIS 2024 Olympics, and hope YOU are just as proud of her as a Filipino! Make sure you root for her on social media, in person (if you can), because at the end of the day, she is Filipino and proud!


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