Vol. XCI No. 11
Dec. 6, 2019
According to the human history, the ancient Olympic Games began in the year 776 BC; and from 776 BC, the Games were held in Olympia every four years for almost 12 centuries. After a couple of centuries, the first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896.
When it comes to the world of sports, the Philippines is also one of those countries in the world with many promising athletes. The boxing arena has Manny Pacquaio and Nonito Donaire. The skating ring has Michael Martinez while Hidilyn Diaz is a weightlifting medalist. Recently, Carlos Yulo entered the roster of these successful Filipino athletes when he won the gold medal in the recently concluded 2019 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships, hence becoming as the first Filipino world champion in gymnastics. Aside from these mentioned personalities, there are still a lot of Filipino talents the world has to witness from the Pearl of the Orient.
However, the glory and honor given by these athletes were not fruits of an easy labor. Each athlete had to endure the pain of every training that they had to undergo. They had to rigorously train day after day so that their skills match and outplay the capabilities of other players especially in the international level of play. These people sacrificed their time and exerted their smallest to biggest effort in order to improve the skill that they have.
However, the social media post of Hidilyn Diaz saying, “Is it okay to ask sponsorship sa mga private companies towards Tokyo 2020? Hirap na hirap na ako, I need finacial support,” in Instagram last June of this year sparked a controversy. The post once again ignited the issue on the government’s lapses in providing Filipino athletes enough financial support, for their needs during training, and for the overall sports development of the country. The words of Hidilyn hinted a probable grievance on the condition they were enduring during the training.
On the other hand, the Philippine Sports Commission with chairman Butch Ramirez immediately responded saying that the government has been very supportive to them. According to Ramirez, the government did not fail to provide financial endeavor especially to Hidilyn Diaz.
Contrarily, during the heat of the discussions regarding the issue, other athletes also revealed their struggles in relationship to the lack of financial support from the government. On a news by Jeline Malasig posted in Interaksyon.com last June, two members from the Philippine Paralympics Swimming team reported that they have not yet received any allowance from the government even after they were already recommended to the sports agency. Aside from them, Michael Martinez, a figure skater, also experienced lapses in the financial support aspect during his preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
There are funds, but are these properly allocated to support Filipino athletes? The cries of these athletes asking for support tell otherwise, and these are things that need to be heard and addressed.
tWS believes that a stronger support to these athletes, who have spent their life and time going through training, hoping for the best performance that they can give to the world and especially to the Filipino nation, should be implemented. It would be possible through a stronger agency that would cater their needs in partnership with different sports associations. Through this, the morale of these determined fighters could be boosted furthermore. After all, their win is also our pride.