Sports and politics
SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - May 21, 2019 - 12:00am

Movie stars used their popularity to enter politics. Take the case of Ronald Reagan who became president  of the United States and Arnold Schwarzenegger who served as governor of California.  Clint Eastwood was mayor of Carmel by the Sea in Monterey.  In the latest election here in the  Philippines, sportsmen who tried their luck in politics included ex-La Salle player Francis  Zamora, boxing head Manny Lopez, Richard Gomez,  Yoyong Martirez, Dondon Hontiveros, Michael Keon, Vergel Meneses, Franz Pumaren, Monsour Del Rosario, Yeng Guiao and Pia Cayetano.  Zamora ended the Ejercitos’ 50-year reign in San Juan after winning the mayoralty race. Lopez, former president of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines, won another term as congressman in Manila’s first district.  Gomez of fencing and rowing was re-elected mayor of Ormoc City while Martirez of San Miguel Beer was re-elected  as councilor of Pasig City. We all know that Hontiveros won a seat in the Cebu City council, while Keon, former Gintong Alay chief, is now mayor of Laoag City. Former PBA MVP Meneses won as mayor of Bulacan-Bulacan with former La Salle coach Pumaren, winning as councilor in District 3 of Quezon City. Triathlete Pia Cayetano is back in the Senate.  If there are winners there are also losers.  Losing sports celebrities are Taekwondo’s Mon Del Rosario, Gilas coach Yeng Guiao and Cebu councilors Joel Garganera and Jerry Guardo, who are marathoners.

La Salle Debacle

It seems 2018 is not a good year  for De La Salle.  The Lady Spikers, the UAAP three-time champion was dethroned this season when it lost to FEU and UST and got eliminated. Then last Thursday, Ateneo frustrated the La Sallites when it won in extra time, to win the UAAP men’s football crown at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.  The Archers looked well on their way to victory with a hope of ending a 21-year title drought, when Ateneo’s Jarvey Gayoso struck to send the final into extra time.  The UAAP Basketball season will soon be staged but it looks like La Salle  will not be a favorite, with defending champion Ateneo still intact with Third yRavena and the Nieto brothers leading the Blue Eagles. UP will also be a force to reckon with ex-La Sallite Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras in the lineup.  As a consolation, however, the La Salle women’s football team emerged as champions with a 2-0 mauling of FEU.  La Salle also won the UAAP men’s baseball crown this year.

Did you know?

MICHAEL JACKSON..If you have watched Elvis in his concerts, you can’t miss his karate moves as part of his showmanship.  Well, Michael Jackson is also a martial arts fanatic just like his one-time father-in-law, having married Lisa Marie Presley.  Michael who adored Bruce Lee (he could muster all of Bruce Lee’s films) was already a black belt in Kung Fu before he hooked with Matt Fides Martial Arts School. Like Elvis, Michael incorporated martial arts moves with his dance routines, such as in “Smooth Criminal”.  He was very sharp and could easily kick head height.  Michael also practiced taekwondo, and was promoted to 2nd degree.

LONDON MARATHON was conceptualized by Chris Brasher who acted as pacemaker for Roger Bannister’s 4-minute mile in 1954 and won the gold in the 3,000 meters steeplechase in the 1956 Olympics.  After running in the 1979 New York City Marathon, Brasher started the logistics for the first London Marathon which finally took off on March 29, 1981.  The race attracted 7,747 runners with 6, 255 finishers.  The race was won by American Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen who crossed the finish line together for a deliberate dead heat. Britain’s Joyce Smith won the women’s race to set a new national marathon record.  Today, the London Marathon is known as one of the fastest.  In fact, England’s Paula Radcliffe set the women’s world record here in 2003.

GREG LOUGANIS.. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis was in the Philippines recently for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series held in Miniloc Island in  Palawan.  Louganis, who is the sports director of the event, became the first man to win the 3m springboard and 10m platform gold medals at two Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.  In his preliminary dive, he hit his head on the board and landed badly.  He was slightly conscious and needed four temporary sutures in the wound, but half an hour later, he dived again.  By the way, Louganis is married to Johnny Chaillot, his long time boyfriend since 2013.  “Anovayan?” wailed my hair stylist.

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