By:Olkeriil Ngirudelsang

Going home with 24 gold medals in his hands, Jericho Maido made his team, Team Koror exceptionally proud. He is 18 years of age and he represented Koror State in the swimming events this past Belau games. He single-handedly earned 24 gold medals for Koror State, most gold an individual have earned in one sporting event at any of the Belau Games held.

“I have been swimming since my Head Start school days when I was around 4 years old” said Jericho in an interview.

Jericho’s first attendance of Belau games was when he was only eight years old.  He has been joining Belau games since then including the many other swimming tournaments. He has never missed winning medals. Currently, Jericho is the fastest recorded swimmer in Palau.

“My training is very intense. Since I was in seventh grade till my senior year in high school, I wake up early and practice from 5:30am to 6:00am every Tuesday and Thursday”. He further showed that on top of that, “I practice from Monday to Fridays in the afternoon at around 4:30pm till 7pm.”  On Saturdays, he and his team would have ocean swims instead of just practicing at the water pool where he would swim from Meyuns to T-dock that usually takes him two hours in the morning from 8 till 10am.

“There were many days I wanted to skip practice but I had strict parents who also made sure I attended my swimming schedules.” He further shared that “I learned that skipping practice would cost me three days just to get back to where I originally was so I always made a point to attend my swimming practice”.

Jericho stated that when he was a young kid, he had a Japanese swimming instructor named Tina.  Now his swimming coach is Mr. Billy Brown who has been with him for about six years. 

Jericho is a Philippine national who was born and raised here in Palau including his other siblings. He considers Palau his home and hopes that one day after college he can come back and work here. Jericho attended Medalaii Headstart and went to Meyuns elementary school. He completed four years at Palau High School graduating this year.  He is planning to go to college to pursue his interests either Marine Biology or Information Technology. 

His message to youths and little kids in sports “is to always persevere because sports is something that can make you a better person in the future.”

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