19 OLYMPIC DELEGATES THE ‘MOST PREPARED, STRONGEST’ BATCH PH TEAM HAS FORGE, SAYS PSC CHIEF
The Philippines sent a 19-strong athlete delegation, fully prepared and funded by the government, at the commencement of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.
Ever since the Philippines wrestled in Olympics games starting 1924, bringing a gold medal home was an elusive dream for years and no Filipino has ever won it.
However, the chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) William Ramirez is hopeful this time since the funding and preparations for the Olympic delegates have been on the run since 2016.
“This is the most prepared athletes, strongest for me since ang atleta noon sariling funding ‘yan,” said Ramirez in yesterday’s online briefing.
Around Php 2 billion were used to support and fund the preparations of 100 Olympic aspirants in 18 sports. And for this year, in 2021 alone, Php 278 million was spent for the 19 athletes.
Ascribed to these expenses, Ramirez said that it is inevitable for the public, and the government sports agency to expect the Olympians to carry through the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal.
“Malaki ang expectation ng bayan”.
“Grabe binuhos ng gobyerno, people’s money, d’yan. We spent billions, because that’s the way we should prepare our athletes,” Ramirez added.
He appraised that the efforts of the country and every athlete for years brought the 19 “most prepared and strongest” batch who will bring “return on investment” to come in the form of gold (medal) and glory.
The 19 Filipino athletes who will compete in the Tokyo Olympics are Hidilyn Diaz, Carlos Yulo, EJ Obiena, Kristina Knott, Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan, Juvic Pagunsan, Luke Gebbie, Remedy Rule, Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, Kurt Barbosa, Cris Nievarez, Margielyn Didal, Kiyomi Watanabe, and Jason Valdez.