Ramirez: Gold assault started after KL debacle
For Team Philippines chef de mission William “Butch” Ramirez, the sparkling achievement by Filipino athletes in the 30th Southeast Asian Games wasn’t an overnight success.
“We immediately went back to the drawing board right after the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, where we fared miserably at the sixth place with only 24 gold medals to show,’’ said Ramirez, also the chair of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
And indeed the plan worked wonders for the national team in partnership with the Philippine Olympic Committee and the national sports associations after the Philippines captured the overall title in the Games with a record 149 gold medals.
“The Philippines didn’t improve on finishing sixth in Singapore, and worse, there were four more golds in those 2015 Games,’’ said Ramirez, who was chef de mission on both occasions that the Philippines hosted the SEA Games and won the overall championship—in 2005 and 2019.
“But regardless whether I am chef de mission or not, my mandate as PSC chairman is to make sure that our athletes are well taken care of, from their nutrition to billeting to the most important ingredient of all—training, preparation and foreign exposure,’’ Ramirez said.
The PSC spent over P2.1 billion for the preparation and foreign exposure of almost 1,400 members of the national pool of each of the 56 national sports associations that were on the Games program.That translated to P1.4 million spent on every athlete for the SEA Games.
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