by Dennis U. Eroa
GLORY is addictive and with the Tokyo delight of Pinoy Olympians, I’m sure it will not hurt if we will make appreciation a regular habit. Hidilyn, the heroine of Zamboanga, is now made for life, while Nesthy, Eumir and scavenger-turned multi-millionaire Carlo are now part of our vocabulary. The lives of the boxers and their respective families are changed for the better and Pinoy pride is definitely restored. It’s proven that if we paddle in the same direction we are going to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Hidilyn finally ended the country’s tiring search for the shining gold but I dare to say that the memorable Tokyo experience and conquests will not be a reality without the great job being done by the Philippine Sports Commission headed by chairman Butch Ramirez, a true-blooded son of Davao.
That’s why I am proud to award a gold medal for excellence to the PSC for helping the athletes every step of the way. It is a relief to know that the government agency did not stop trying to help our Olympians. All that matters for Ramirez and his band of capable and gritty Commissioners namely sporting legend Mon Fernandez, Celia Kiram, Arnold Agustin and journalist Charles Maxey are the well-being of the athletes. They empowered the athletes which translated into world-class performances.
Before Tokyo, I am very vocal in saying that this batch of Olympians is very lucky with the PSC pouring its resources to make their Tokyo adventure successful. And mind you, it takes years for the PSC to finally turn the Olympians into a well-oiled group of fighting men and women capable of upsetting the world’s order.
Hidilyn and company didn’t plunge into action blind, they went to war fully equipped to navigate and hurdle challenges. This is the reason why I declare in various zoom meetings that we will not go home empty-handed. I’ve never been happier in my whole life, knowing that our Olympians are backed with tons of experience, training and financial help. We need the gold medal of Hidilyn to temporarily set aside our worries in the time of pandemic. We need the silver medals of Nesthy and Carlo to inspire us to reach for the stars and the bronze of Eumir and the near bronze of Caloy Yulo are enough for us to sleep soundly at night.
With the best results ever, Ramirez can now heave a sigh of relief. Before Tokyo, Ramirez, down-to-earth, was very vocal in saying that he expected lawmakers to grill the PSC simply because it used people’s money to fund the training and campaign of the Olympians. No need to worry, chairman. You’re correct, it takes a nation to realize a dream.
It is but proper that lawmakers will give the PSC a badge of honor for its role in making the country standing proud in the international sporting order. Yes, we can and we are just starting.
Ramirez, true to form, isn’t going to credit himself for the wonderful results, saying those were a product of teamwork. He praised the PSC workforce for its cooperation.
“While we all recognize the immense assistance of our partners in the Executive Office, the Congress, the Senate, other government agencies and the private sector, as well as our past chairmen and officials, your contribution as an employee of the PSC, serving our public and client groups in your different capacities are significant drops in our victories.”
“We are now all witnessing the fruits of our labor from the time of our small agency’s inception in 1990 to the present, 31 years of service now brought us this exhilarating moment and onward march to sporting history,” the Atenean added.
It is crystal clear that Ramirez knows very well the importance of teamwork.’’ As the country basks in the glory and joy of our first Olympic gold, allow me to take this moment to congratulate each one of you. You are as much part of this success as anybody else.’’
In one of our zoom meetings with fellow sportswriters, I was very vocal In saying that with his deep love for the athletes, Ramirez and company deserve a third tour of duty as head of the PSC whose mandate is to provide leadership, formulate policies and set priorities for the promotion and development of amateur sports with an emphasis on grassroots participation. He previously served under President Arroyo before being appointed by President Duterte in 2016.
I’ll jump straight to the point. To continue the gains of Tokyo, Ramirez and his group must continue their work regardless of the results of the elections. Paris 2024 is just around the corner and it is not a stretch to say that we can better the Tokyo showings with Ramirez at the helm.
The results of the Tokyo campaign opened the floodgates for conglomerates and rich private individuals to chip in to reward the Olympians. The MVP Sports Foundation in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee, Ayala, Philippine Air Lines, Air Asia and the country’s billionaires dipped into their pockets to help the Olympians.
Also, I must give special mention to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) headed by Andres Domingo for its never-ending support to the PSC. Indeed, Pagcor played a big role in sports development.
I say, bring it on!
To borrow John F. Kennedy’s words “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”
A word of caution, dear readers. Let us not be fooled by those riding in the coattails of Hidilyn and company. They will claim credit for the Tokyo victories but we know how to distinguish a fool from the truthful.