Rizal Memorial venues now bear names of sporting greats
How does Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool or Simeon Torribio Track Stadium inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) sound?
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) hopes renaming the athletic venues inside the ageless complex after sporting heroes of yore would encourage Filipinos to brush up on their achievements.
“We want to pique the interest of the people who will read about or visit the facility. Who is Teofilo Yldefonso? What did Felicisimo Ampon do that this venue is named after him?” said PSC chair William Ramirez on Thursday.
And, in the case of the Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Gym—a no-brainer of a decision, remind people of the Filipino’s capacity for greatness.
“These athletes have given the honor to the country with their work in sports. We hope to keep their legacies alive today and the succeeding generations,” added Ramirez.
The Rizal Memorial Tennis Court will now be the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Court, after the diminutive tennis legend nicknamed “Mighty Mite,” who is largely considered to be the greatest Filipino tennis player in history.
Yldefonso, meanwhile, is one of only two Filipinos two win multiple medals in the Olympics, having bagged two swimming bronze medals. The breaststroke specialist survived the Bataan Death March but died later in a concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac province.
The only other Filipino to win multiple medals in the Summer Games is, of course, Diaz, who made history by bringing home the country’s first Olympic gold medal in history after ruling the women’s 55-kilogram division of weightlifting in Tokyo this year.
Diaz is also a Rio de Janeiro Olympiad silver medalist. The 30-year-old lifter will be the only modern athlete to have a venue carry her name as the PSC hopes to christen other training and competition venues after past sports greats.
Other facilities and venues inside the sprawling sports center, such as the baseball field and boxing gym, will likewise be renamed.
Also on the horizon is the opening of a bigger, interactive and modern Philippine Sports Museum building at the RMSC which is part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program. The present PSC museum houses several memorabilia of sports heroes.
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