Filipinos fly to Paris Olympics with pocket money like no other

Filipino aces fly to Paris Olympics with pocket money like no other

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:20 AM June 05, 2024

Paris Olympics Philippines

FILE–Some of the Philippines’ qualified athletes for the Paris Olympics 2024.

Filipino athletes seeing action in the 2024 Paris Olympics will be motivated like they have never been before.

Apart from the government and private sector promise of a windfall for Games medals, this batch of bets will be going to the glitzy fashion capital of the world with pocket money never heard by Filipino Olympians of the past.

“I’m looking at at least P2 million for each qualified athlete,” Richard Bachmann, the chair of the funding Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), said on Tuesday during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum. “This is additional funding to help them focus and win medals.

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“We’ll give it to them very soon,’’ added Bachmann.

The bulk of the additional allowances has been pledged by Senators Bong Go and Risa Hontiveros with more help coming from Sen. Pia Cayetano. With or without a medal, Bachmann said Hontiveros has committed P23 million for the athletes.

At the moment, there are already 15 athletes with Paris slots, with boxers Carlo Paalam and Hergie Bacyadan joining the elite cast recently in a qualification meet in Bangkok.

Aside from the financial support of these legislators, the PSC chief confirmed that the rest of the “pocket money’’ would come from the sponsors of the PSC Fellowship Media-NSA Golf Tournament slated June 14 at Canlubang Golf and Country Club.

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“These athletes who qualified need more (funding), and it’s nice to see that everyone is helping out so that the athletes can perform better,’’ said Bachmann.

Pole vault ace EJ Obiena, gymnasts Carlo Yulo, Aleah Finnegan, Emma Malabuyo and Levi Jung-Ruivivar, weightlifters Vanessa Sarno, John Febuar Ceniza and Elreen Ando secured Olympic spots along with rower Joanie Delgaco and fencer Samantha Catantan.

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Other boxers who made it were Tokyo Olympic medalists Nesthy Petecio and Eumir Marcial as well as Aira Villegas.

“I’m just waiting for June 30, so we can finalize everything,’’ said Bachmann, referring to the deadline for qualification for the Summer Games set from July 26 to Aug. 11.

“Any help from our senators, congressmen and any other private organization is welcome,’’ said Bachmann, adding that the golf fundraiser could generate roughly P1.5 million. “All proceeds will go to our athletes.’’

Bachmann explained that these cash allowances, to be distributed prior to the athletes’ trip to the city of lights and love, is on top of the monetary incentives that they could collect upon winning a medal in the Olympics.

Bachmann said the PSC has allocated P52 million for the preparation, training and participation of these athletes in the Olympics, including the qualification windows they had attended.

The government sports agency, meanwhile, has allotted P13.4 million for the country’s participation in the Paralympic Games also in Paris a month after the Olympics.

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From P52 million, the PSC has already spent P43 million for airfare, hotel and accommodations, luggage and parade uniforms, among others. “If we still lack funding, then I will look for more money in the NSDF (national sports development fund),’’ said Bachmann. INQ

Follow Inquirer Sports’ special coverage of the Paris Olympics 2024.

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