8916-Ernie A Gawilan photo

Ernie A Gawilan



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
S7, SB7, SM7

Further personal information

Pasig, PHI

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming in 2000 in Samal, Philippines.
Why this sport?
He was working as a housekeeper in Samal, Philippines, when he had his first encounter with the water. Swimming coach Jude Corpuz took notice of his habit of visiting the ocean during his free time, saw potential, and decided to train him.
Name of coach
Tony Ong [national], PHI

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning three gold medals and two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia. (, 15 Oct 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Let's continue dreaming and work hard to fulfill our dreams." (, 20 Oct 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2019 he was named Male Athlete of the Year by the Davao City Sports Council Incorporated and the So Kim Cheng Sports Foundation Incorporated. (, 25 Jun 2019)
He became the first Filipino athlete from any sport to win a gold medal at the Asian Para Games when he triumphed in the SM7 200m individual medley at the 2018 Games in Indonesia. (SportsDeskOnline, 13 Mar 2019;, 08 Oct 2018)
He was born without the lower part of both his legs and an underdeveloped left arm. (, 21 Mar 2018;, 24 Jan 2015)
Other information
His journey to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was adapted into a five-minute film called 'Gawilan' which was released in 2017. The film was directed and produced by US-based Filipino filmmaker Kelsy Lua, and became a runner-up in the Best Film category at the 2019 Istorya Ng Pag-Asa [Stories of Hope] film festival in the Philippines. (, 26 Feb 2021;, 13 Jun 2018)


Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2015-07-16 13
Men's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2015-07-17 11
Men's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 2 2015-07-18 15
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 400 m Freestyle S8 Heat 1 2016-09-08 5
Men's 100 m Freestyle S8 Heat 2 2016-09-11 8
Men's 100 m Backstroke S8 Heat 2 2016-09-13 5