The recognitions for 10-year-old Filipino American Superman kid of swimming since breaking Olympian Michael Phelps’ Far West Championship record in Moraga California in late July kept coming from major news outlet all over the world and the latest to happen is the declaration of September 18, 2018 as Clark Kent DungcaApuada Day.
Apuada’s home county of Monterey County through its Board of Supervisors gave the honor that enabled Clark to join Super Bowl quarterback Joe Kappand and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Youth Featherweight Champion Ruben Villa IV as the only three athletes bestowed with the recognition.
Foremost of those cited in the resolution of the declaration was Apuada’s time in the 100-meter butterfly time (1:09.38) which was more than a second better than Phelps’ (1:10.48) set in 1995 on top of Clark’s seven victories in the same competition proving his awesome and exceptional swimming prowess.
Other cited bases for the Apuada day included Clark’s outstanding efforts in improving himself since he learned how to swim at an early age of three, his other accomplishments in after school activities and activities that include dance class, talent shows, piano lessons, gymnastics, and martial arts, among others.
Now in fifth grade at Mission Park Elementary School, Apuada has also been maintaining his straight-A performance as a student that makes him a model student among his peers not just in Monterey County but also in his parent’s home country, the Philippines.
The resolution introduced by Supervisor Luis Alejo, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, was signed by Supervisors Vice-Chair John Philips, Simon Salinas and Mary Adams.
Also present to witness the presentation of resolution were Clark’s coaches mother and son team of Dia and Travis Rianda.
In a statement given through email, Clark shared that he “feels great because not everybody gets a special day to themselves in the county.”
“It empowers me to do more positive things and continue to improve myself in swimming even more,” a more inspired Clark continued.
Parents Chris and Cynthia feel ”honored and privileged for the recognition that Clark has received and we were not expecting this. It was a big surprise.”
“The day before the Clark Apuada Day, the county disseminated information about the event/recognition thru local news and social media,” Dad Chris recounted. “On the day of the event, Clark was recognized during Monterey County Board of Supervisors session headed by Luis Alejo and a plaque was given him.”
The event was covered by local media television and radio stations.
Mom Cynthia added that Supervisor Alejo mentioned that “Clark exemplifies positive attitude, determination, dedication and sportsmanship which makes him a good role model and in inspiration to youth and adults alike.”
Coach Dia earlier mentioned that the culture of being a Filipino supports a hard work ethic, family values, and anything needed positive mindset all contributed to the shape what Clark is now
“Most Filipinos I know are extremely positive, hardworking, and loving people. And every time I have had the opportunity to coach a Filipino child, they’ve done great things n school, in swimming and in a variety of aspects in their lives because the culture develops, supports and lifts up not only their people but us as well,” Dia cited.
Dia’s son coach Travis, on the other hand, praised Clark for being an incredible athlete who works harder than anyone he has seen so far.
“I have a lot of hard workers in my team. He doesn’t stop even when his body is telling him to. His mind takes over and he keeps going and it is not because I am telling him to go or the sets are pushing him to go. He is choosing to go,” Travis beamed. “You have to spend days to look for other kids who do what he does. On top of this one it is amazing that he does the swimming on top of everything that he does. And he is just as exceptional on the other things that he does in his life. So it is anomaly in a sense.”