Website featuring all Filipino Olympians launched
MANILA, Philippines–A digital archive featuring all the efforts and achievements of Filipino Olympians throughout history was recently launched.
Through the efforts of the Philippine Olympians Associations, the website “The Living Archive of Olympians PH” catalogs the journey of past and present Olympians from the country.
It also intends to provide a comprehensive database of the rare breed of athletes who have represented the Philippines since the 1924 Paris Olympics.
“It’s a legacy project of the POA. We believe stories are powerful. But if they are not documented, not shared, these stories will be forgotten. By collating it and making it accessible to all, we will inspire the future generation of Olympians,’’ said POA president Akiko Thomson-Guevara.
But Thomson-Guevara, a swimming ace during her prime and a three-time Olympian, admits that compiling information on the country’s Olympic history has its challenges.
“It’s a work in progress. Researchers had a hard time finding pictures of our Olympians and for some of our Olympians, the data is very sparse,” she said.
“We hope that as our website is viewed and shared, this will reach the relatives of Olympians who will help us with the information that we don’t have.”
The website, which can be accessed through philippineolympians.org, will also include an archive of medalists, featured Olympians, the POA newsletter, general information, vision, purpose, board of directors, and the association’s affiliation with the World Olympians Association.
At present, there are 432 Filipino Olympians who have seen action in both the Summer Games and the Winter Olympics, including the 19 athletes from 11 sports who will compete in the coming Tokyo Games led by four-time Olympian and 2016 Rio De Janeiro silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting.
The project is backed by the Philippine Olympic Committee and Milo, a long-term supporter of Philippine sports.
“This is being done to establish greater awareness of our people that we have athletes who have gone to the Olympics. We stand in support of this project together with Milo Philippines, the most fitting partner in this endeavor,’’ said POC president and Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino during the recent Olympic Day Celebration.
POA Chairman Rafael “Paing’” Hechanova, one of the oldest living Olympians at 93, graced the digital launch of website along with POC deputy secretary general for NSA, government and athletes affairs Karen Caballero, POA treasurer Stephen Fernandez and POA board member Weena Lim.
Joining them were Tokyo Olympian Kurt Barbosa of taekwondo and his coach Carlos Padilla and Milo Sports manager and Nestle Philippines AVP Lester Castillo.
According to Thomson-Guevara, the POA reached out to the Olympics Studies Center for the website’s existing database and would be updated as new Olympians and medalists come in. Celest Flores-Colina