Has PH sports been honestly fueled?
Merry sporting Christmas to all.
You can’t quarrel with success and, as part of his gift to his countrymen, President Duterte vowed a special P100-million budget for the Philippine campaign in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
There’s no denying the presidential support is a happy offshoot of the rousing overall championship by the Philippine contingent in the 30th Southeast Asian Games grandly hosted by the country.
There’s an even stronger push for Philippine sports, with the people swept and inspired by the joyous triumphs in various venues during the SEA Games.
Philippine sports dazzled and zoomed to the top like a rocket.
This cannot be helped. But there are also those who feel creepy about what would be coming up next for Philippine sports.
A full-blast campaign to win the country’s first Olympic gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been announced, loud and clear.
The Philippine Olympic Committee has also announced it will bid to host the Asian Games.
Just the same, there are those who wonder if the Philippines has honestly become No. 1 in the region?
One senior citizen who preferred to stay behind after the special holiday mass at the Divine Mercy Shrine off Maysilo Drive in Mandaluyong City on Sunday zeroed in on this reporter to voice his concern.
The elderly fellow in light blue shirt, lean and alert, said he was amazed at the sudden burst, the dizzying jump to the SEA Games summit.
The curious elder, like many others who preferred to keep quiet, would like to know if the Philippines has also been honestly and properly fueled for the Olympic campaign.
They continue to wonder: what has Philippine sports really got in its core?
Yes, there are many who have refused to be carried away by the hoopla, the noise and thundering cheers, in the last SEA Games.
The alert old man wondered if a strong national sports development program, absent through the decades, has miraculously come to fore with the successful hosting of the last SEA Games.
Not exactly, he was told. Because, the SEA Games, with its fixtures and setups, calendar and schedules that give undue edge to the host, cannot be a true measure to how strong one regional power has emerged or be ready for the true big tests, available in the Olympiad and the Asian Games proper.
The SEA Games is centrally a festival, a gathering and regional sports celebration, with no solid and strict regulations for Olympic excellence.
At best, the country’s SEA Games success, colorful and fleeting, could count as a new possible starting point, another reawakening.
How does a plain gold medal in the SEA Games compare to a shining Olympic bronze?
Could all the 149 gold medals harvested by the Philippines equal or approximate one Olympic gold medal?
There will be truly noble victories, but these will be available only in the Olympics or high-standard competitions, not in loose and free-wheeling regional gaming festivals.
As for the jump to the SEA Games summit, this will be put to proper test in an event wherein the country won’t be blessed with the gross hometown advantages.
On the way to the next Olympics, the question persists: Has the Philippines gained enough fuel following its success in the SEA Games?
Indeed, the big solid winners in this case are the main political players, the central characters whose approval ratings have zoomed through the dazzled national sporting firmament, like holiday fireworks. INQ