“We have not won an Olympic gold in our lifetime, and this is our best chance.”
This was the message conveyed by staunch supporter of the country’s Olympic campaign and House of Representatives Committee on Youth and Sports Development chairman Eric Martinez during the recent budget defense meeting of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Martinez expressed confidence that the country will finally win its first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2021.
“Could I ask the PAGCOR for its commitment with regards to the support for PSC for these athletes and for this Olympics, so we could nail down that Olympic gold?” said Rep. Martinez.
The Congressman of the 2nd District of Valenzuela is referring to four Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, namely Ernest Obiena, Carlos Yulo, Eumir Marcial, and Irish Magno, including aspiring weightlifting Olympian Hidilyn Diaz, a silver medallist in the 2016 Rio Olympiad and a handful who show big chances of qualifying.
Rep. Martinez believes that Obiena, who recently won gold in the 59th Ostrava Golden Strike Tournament in Czech Republic has a strong chance of winning a medal and upset the world’s best, he has the same prediction for Filipino artistic gymnast and reigning world champion in men’s floor exercise Yulo, Diaz, and boxers Marcial and Magno saying “we all know that by tradition boxing is our strength in Olympic gaming.”
“This is now the critical time that we push and channel all our resources for their training [with] one year to go,” said Rep. Martinez.
Martinez proposed for direct coordination between the two agencies, “I think PAGCOR should sit down seriously with PSC and our committee is more than willing to help also for this Olympics alone. Let’s do it for our Olympians and for our Filipino athletes.”
PAGCOR vice president Jimmy Bondoc responded positively on Martinez’s request, saying that “we share your dream of finally obtaining that gold for our country. That is possible and I will definitely propose it to the Board.”
PAGCOR’s remittances to PSC significantly reduced as these are dependent on their income, which was heavily hit by the implemented lockdown.
In the past committee regular meeting attended by PSC Chairman William Ramirez and Chef de Mission Nonong Araneta, the congress committee promised to back the agency’s request for the return of the P182-million budget for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. PR
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