An 11-year-old girl from the Philippines has gone viral after competing in a local running meet. Why? RheaBullos won three gold medals at the inter-schools event . . . and that’s cool, but not why she’s making headlines. She’s captured our attention because she earned her medals while running in homemade “sneakers” -which were really just plaster bandages wrapped around her feet.
The tween athlete’s trainer, Predirick Valenzuela, shared photos on Facebook which show Rhea’s feet taped up with bandages around her ankles, toes, and the tops of her feet. She even drew a Nike swoosh on the top of her foot and the brand’s names on her ankle bandages. There were two other runners who also wrapped their feet this way to compete because they didn’t have shoes and their story is winning hearts all over the Internet.
Some have shared the story on Twitter, calling for Nike to send these young athletes some gear. And Jeff Cariaso, CEO of the basketball store Titan22 and head coach of the Alaska Aces (a pro basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association), took to Twitter to ask for help reaching Rhea. But she’s already getting some help, according to “The Daily Guardian,” a tabloid in the Philippines, that tweeted photos of her trying on new kicks at a shoe store at a local mall.
Now she has support from around the globe and fans will be cheering for her. And just imagine how impressive she’ll be when she runs with actual shoes on her feet.