Hopes high for Philippine sports as athletes take part in Marcos inauguration

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Hopes high for Philippine sports as athletes take part in Marcos inauguration
Philippine national sports athletes joined the civic military parade that preceded President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s inauguration Thursday.
PSC photo

MANILA, Philippines – Will sports be a priority in the administration of new Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.?

Based on the Chief Executive’s inauguration at the National Museum in Manila Thursday, it appeared like it will be.

In a historic moment, athletes were represented in the civic military parade leading up to that much-awaited moment when Marcos was sworn in as the country’s 17th president.

A total of 25 national athletes from wushu, sepak takraw, jujitsu, judo, kurash, shooting, rowing and gymnastics joined the march that included the country’s other front liners headed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

And Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino expressed optimism that sports will have a prominent nook in the new national leadership.

“We are thankful to the new administration, to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for putting sports on a rightful platform in his administration,” said the Tagaytay City Mayor and PhilCycling chief.

“The POC, and the whole of Philippine sports for that matter, is more hopeful now that our athletes will be given more priority and attention under President Marcos,” he added.

The country is hoping to follow, if not improve, its glorious performances in the international stage under the Rodrigo Duterte administration that was highlighted by a breakthrough golden effort by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the Tokyo Olympics last year.

It is also under the past admin that the Filipino athletes emerged overall champions of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games that the country hosted while producing world champions like gymnast Caloy Yulo and boxer Nesthy Petecio among others.

 “The athletes’ inclusion in the parade signals how serious President Marcos' outlook on sports will be,” said Tolentino. “Sports is a tried, tested and certified unifying factor among us Filipinos — time and again, we unite each time our athletes compete, and win, abroad.”

The Philippine Sports Commission coordinated the athletes’ inclusion in the parade that included key government installations, including frontliners who fought COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Interestingly, the present leadership is still in the process of selecting potential successors to PSC officials chaired by William “Butch” Ramirez or approve the possibility of retaining them.




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