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WHEN asked before about our medal prospects in the Olympics, we in the PSC unashamedly replied positively. We believed in the capacity and talent of this delegation to produce. More than that, we knew of the kind and amount of support that were poured into the preparation of our athletes for what is dubbed the greatest sports stage in the world.

After 97 years of waiting, we finally achieved what has been otherwise an elusive dream for decades, our first Olympic gold. Add to this the joy of witnessing the most prolific delegation in terms of medal haul, exceeding past productions in past Olympic editions.

The joy is overflowing, the triumphs fortifying the patriotic spirit of the Filipino people. There is no better time to say our thank-yous.

Foremost, we thank our partners in the Executive Office, the Senate, the Congress, PAGCOR, and other government agencies, who like us believed that sports have a place in nation building and our athletes are worth supporting. Being in government, we had to take the first steps to ensure a rich ground for a successful elite sports level by strengthening grassroots sports. The government, from scouting, identifying, developing and nurturing our athletes in the grassroots and grooming them for the national team at the elite level, plays an active role.  In this role, the PSC is not alone. We thank all the people in authority who put their faith in our athletes and made it possible for us to give them extraordinary support.

We also have to thank our partners in the private sector. Thank you for being generous to our athletes and for adding where the government’s limitations can no longer go.

A few months after the onset of the pandemic, with the drastic cut in our cash inflow due to the lockdown affecting PAGCOR and PCSO, we sadly had to cut allowances of our national team by half, promising to give back the remaining half once remittances improve. This is where true bayanihan spirit showed its magic, with partners from the Executive level, Senate, Congress and the private sector came in to help us sustain support for the national team, especially for the preparation of our Olympians and those still vying for an Olympic ticket.

Public-private partnerships work when they are united in a goal for the common good. Maraming Salamat po!

Part of the support system of our athletes are the coaches, trainors, and the sports science team behind them. They also deserve our appreciation. All the coaches who mentored our Olympians from their first involvement in sports all contributed to the whole package they have become. They sacrifice as their athletes do and provide a circle of comfort and moral ground like a second family.

When we talk of our athletes, we have to recognize the central role of their parents and families. Thank you for believing in their dreams and supporting them. Thank you for “lending” them to sports when you could have easily swayed their attention to another field. Thank you for being the wind beneath their wings.

Of course, at the center of this glorious moment are our athletes. You all deserve our gratitude, admiration and respect. We thank those who worked to qualify, those who fought with golden determination as much as those who in the end brought us pride and honor with their victories. We know the sacrifices and hardship you all had to endure in training and preparation.  We know the price you had to pay to be on that road towards your dream, our dream. We are sure that your achievements have caught the attention, fired up the imagination and inspired many of our youth to pursue sports. On behalf of a grateful nation, which has so proudly carried you on its shoulder to rejoice in your victory, maraming salamat!

Gratitude needs to be given to the biggest contributor of support, the Filipino people. Your taxes funded our athletes along the course of their athletic journey. More than this, your trust, prayers and enthusiasm provided our athletes with more determination and motivation to come home winners and make us all proud.

We have come to this sublime moment of triumph which emboldens us to dream of more, inspires us to go further and drives us to look positively ahead. We have successfully reached this point, and now armed with a blueprint, we can all do it again.

In an article written by one of our Tokyo Olympians, EJ Obiena, adapting an old African proverb, said that it takes a village to win an Olympic gold. We cannot agree more. No one can singularly take credit for this success because we all played a part in it. Our athletes represented the whole country solidly standing behind them and cheering them on. Salamat po sa inyong lahat.

Putting it in our context, we say it takes a nation to realize a dream.

Chairman William I. Ramirez

Commissioner Arnold G, Agustin

Commissioner Celia H. Kiram

Commissioner Ramon S. Fernandez

Commissioner Charles Raymond  A. Maxey

Executive Director Atty. Guillermo B. Iroy Jr.

Deputy Executive Director, FAS Merlita R. IBay

Deputy Executive Director, BCSSS Manuel G. Bitog

Chief of Staff Marc Edward D. Velasco

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