To read this article in Filipino, see Gary Bejino.
Early life and education
Gary was the second eldest in a brood of six. His father is a laborer and his mother is a homemaker. When he was 7 years old, he sustained serious burns after being electrocuted by a live power cable. His right arm and left leg needed to be amputated.
He grew up in Albay where he spent his first four years of primary education before moving to a foundation ran by priests.
Bejino took up swimming when he moved to Metro Manila in 2013. He was the school representative at the 2013 Palarong Pambansa in Dumaguete in para swimming. He bagged three gold medals and was scouted by national coach Tony Ong. He joined the 2013 Asian Youth Para Games where he won a silver and a bronze medal.
He won a gold medal in the men’s 400m freestyle at the 2015 ASEAN Para Games in Singapore, and another gold medal in the 2017 edition.
He qualified for the Tokyo Games based on his performances in the 2018 Asian Para Games where he won a silver and two bronze medals.
At the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, Bejino opened the Philippine’s campaign. He is the country’s representative at para swimming’s Men’s 200m individual medley SM6, Men’s 400m freestyle S6, Men’s 50m butterfly S6, and Men’s 100m backstroke S6. He finished 14th overall out of 16 swimmers in the men’s 50m butterfly S6 heats; last out of the 17 swimmers at men's 200m individual medley SM6 event; and last among 13 swimmers at the men’s 400m freestyle s6 event. He still has a chance to reach the finals as he competes in the men’s 100m backstroke S6 event.
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