Trouble at the POC
SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - June 4, 2019 - 12:00am

“If you’re looking for trouble, you came to the right place”, is a line from Elvis Presley’s song “TROUBLE” which he performed in the movie King Creole. Well, there’s trouble brewing at the P.O.C with its current president Ricky Vargas slugging it out with the executive board. It was common knowledge that some “unfriendly members” wanted to oust Vargas. But Vargas beat them to the draw as he replaced Monsour Del Rosario as chef de mission and his deputy Charlie Ho. He also dismissed POC first vice president Joey Romasanta as chef de mission to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, former POC president Peping Cojuangco and squash-president Bob Bachman. Rep. Bambol Tolentino replaced Romasanta while muay thai’s Lucas Managuelod took over from Bachman.

Obstacle president Al Agra replaced Cojuangco. At first, my good friend PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez turned down his appointment as 2019 Sea Games chef de mission replacing another good friend Mon Del Rosario, but finally agreed after getting a call from Malacanang. The trouble among our sports officials is no doubt affecting the morale of our athletes who are now in deep training. While our competitors from the other SEA countries are focusing on their drive for a decent finish, our leaders are busy fighting each other. 

If this trouble is not address at all, then expect another debacle right in our own backyard. Chokolet, a comedian who is also a runner (he’s the small guy you see around with a big snake) said, “Kahibalo di ay moluto si Monsour Del Rosario kay gitawag man siyaug chef?). I told Chokolet, chef in sports means head of delegation, “dili kusinero”.

Did you know?

VALENTIN LOREN, a Spanish featherweight, was disqualified in the second round by Hungarian referee GuorgySemerfor repeated holding and punching with an open glove.  The Spaniard was so furious with the decision that he punched Semer sending him to the canvass with a broken nose.  Loren received a lifetime ban from international boxing after this infamy in the 1964 games.

LIKE ELVIS AND BEATLES PUT TOGETHER was US basketball coach Chuck Daly described his country’s so called “Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Larry Bird were just some of the star-studded cast that waylaid the opposition with a winning margin of 43.8 points. Team USA defeated Croatia 117-85to win the gold. “Don’t Be Cruel”.

ABEBE BIKILA was only a substitute for Wami Biratu, Ethiopia’s representative to the 1960 Rome Olympics marathon, after Biratu broke his ankle playing football.  Bikila won the race running barefooted.   Training for the 1964 Olympics, Bikila contracted appendicitis just six weeks before the Games but still jogged around the hospital to maintain his fitness. Running in shoes this time, Bikila won again in 2:12:11. 

In the 1968 Mexico Olympics, Bikila attempted to make it three in a row but a foot injury which he concealed, took its toll and dropped out at the half-way mark. In 1969, Bikila was involved in a car accident in Addis Ababa which left him paralyzed and four years later, died from brain hemorrhage.  His funeral was attended by 75,000 people and Emperor Haile Selassie proclaimed a national day of mourning.  A stadium in the City was named after him. 

SAMMY WANJIRU the then 24-year old Beijing Olympic champion from Kenya, committed suicide by jumping from a balcony in his house in  Nyahuru in Rift Valley, after a domestic dispute with his wife.

NOTE: A Golden State fan suggested that as an incentive for winning Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Raptors receive the  shipload of garbage the Philippines sent back to Canada. “ Napikon”.

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