Rudy Fernandez (triathlete)
Rodolfo Fernandez (born December 5, 1947 in Iloilo, Philippines) commonly known as Rudy and referred as the "Iron Man of Asia", is a multi-awarded, one-legged Filipino triathlete who had finished a degree in Physical Education at the University of Baguio.
Fernandez had competed in running, swimming and cycling, and prides himself in always finishing the race despite the obvious handicap. He was a participant in an athletic competition in early 2005 held in Singapore.
Fernandez became torchbearer for two multi-sport events: the 2001 SEA Games, and the Palarong Pambansa 2005 (Philippine National Games). Currently he is supporting a charity that supports youth, especially those with physical disabilities and the differently-abled. This became his inspiration in joining Pinoy Big Brother.
Pinoy Big Brother
Fernandez was a housemate of ABS-CBN's Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition. His fellow housemates thought he was physically weak due to the amputation. However, they never knew that he was given a clean bill of health by the show's doctors prior to entering the house. At 58 years old, his blood pressure was still at 120/80.
He was called "Tatay Rudy" by the housemates as he was the father figure of the other housemates. Big Brother and the fans refer to him as "Mang Rudy," out of their respect for his status and age. He was the oldest contestant, both in the Celebrity edition and in Pinoy Big Brother history. He was the first housemate to be officially evicted from the house on Day 21 (February 25, 2006). When he left, he gave away key chains to his fellow housemates as tokens of remembrance.
While in the house, the housemate he was most comfortable with was Gretchen Malalad and Mich Dulce. Fellow housemate Zanjoe Marudo had made a trademark quote on him saying, "Ang Iron Man, nag-joke na naman" (The Iron Man is joking again) because of the corny jokes Rudy cracks while laughing to himself. Rudy has also given good advice to the other housemates before he left the house.
Fernandez had an amputation at the thigh of his right leg. The amputation was due to a bomb explosion in the Alegro Theater from his hometown in Iloilo on 1978 which also cost the life of his brother-in-law. He began using a mechanical hydraulic prosthetic leg in the 1980s.
Fernandez is married to Melba, a midwife, with whom they have three sons, the first names of which all end in "itz." He teaches physical education at the Western Institute of Technology in Iloilo City.