Miguel Tabuena
Golfer Miguel Tabuena: 'Saving lives more than swinging in Olympics’
Dante Navarro (Philstar.com) - March 27, 2020 - 6:05pm

ANILA, Philippines – While he admits that the Tokyo Olympics’ postponement was an unfortunate development for sports, including golf, two-time Philippine Open champion Miguel Tabuena maintains that pushing back the Games for another year is the least of all his worries.

That includes his chance for another crack at an Olympic stint.

For him, what matters is protecting and saving lives.

“There’s much more to life than golf. Right now, we are doing our part — that is, staying home,” said the former child prodigy.

World health authorities have been advising people to stay at home to help curb the spread of the virus, that has claimed 24,114 lives worldwide.

“As I'm sure other athletes are also feeling, it’s unfortunate that the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed. Having said that, putting everything into perspective, it is the least of our worries now,” he said.

Tabuena is hanging on by a thread in the Olympic qualifying, occupying the last spot at No. 60 before the International Olympic Committee heeded host Tokyo’s proposal to postpone the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the new schedule expected to create some logistical hurdles for golf and new, drastic preparations for the hopefuls all over the world, Tabuena isn’t a bit worried of his chances for another Olympic campaign.

While a number of athletes, including two fellow Pinoy golfers, had opted to skip the 2016 Rio Games due to Zika virus, Tabuena didn’t back out and even played through pain (right shoulder injury), finishing 53rd in a field of 60.

“It’s a dream come true to represent the country (in the Olympics),” he said then. “I will be more than ready next time.”

That next time would be next year when the Tokyo Games is finally held in summer of 2021 but the postponement, according to Tabuena, should be more of a celebration of the people who have been risking their lives to fight the spread of the disease.

“After all of this, we won’t be thinking about celebrating athletes in the Olympic Games as much as we will be wanting to celebrate the people that risked their lives in the frontlines against COVID-19 — doctors, nurses, hospital staff, scientists, bank tellers, security guards, police officers, grocery and drug store employees, and many more,” he said.

The coronavirus cases have reached 536,477 worldwide with 24,114 deaths while 124,395 have recovered. The Philippines has 707 cases with 45 deaths, including a number of frontliners, while 45 have recovered.

“So whenever the next Olympic Games will be and whether or not I would make the cut, I hope to honor these people and rejoice in the fact that the world would have healed or at least started to heal from this very challenging time,” said Tabuena.

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