Fetalvero: Thank you, Japan

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Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz made an urgent plea to our government to support athletes, underlining that each athlete has the potential to bring honor to the country.

It is her lament that athletes do not get enough support from the government. They struggle on their own and sometimes alone in their financial effort. It is also the observation of sports enthusiasts that government officials share the limelight when athletes “bring home the bacon,” so to speak.

People expected much from Manny Pacquiao who, with his stature, could have done much to improve the plight of our athletes. The good senator is more preoccupied on his political ambitions.

Kudos to Diaz who garnered the first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines by being consistent in her goal to achieve the highest award and persistent painstaking effort. A college graduate and a member of the Philippine Air Force, nothing stopped her from achieving more and becoming the pride of her family and “kababayan” from Zamboanga City.

Who has more determination and enthusiasm than athletes?

One great motivation for athletes is the sports scholarship offered by private schools and state universities as insurance for college education. They then become role models to our young. They get to do what they love most, and I hope fame is just an added bonus.

Some 11,000 athletes from 200 countries are in attendance against all odds in this great sports event hosted by Japan due to the pandemic. Nineteen athletes represent the Philippines in different sports competitions like boxing, skateboarding, weightlifting, rowing, track and field, golf and gymnastics. All are trying their best to gain international recognition for the country.

The Japan-hosted Olympics had a very impressive opening ceremony and I could deduce that the event organizer made sure every sector was represented in the torch relay starting with the two frontliners, the doctor and the nurse, then a Covid survivor, then six young athletes. Next, a multi-awarded tennis player lit up the Olympic cauldron as the chairman of the Olympics event stressed equality issues, values of friendship and fair play among athletes, and the importance of the Olympic flame representing the continuity of the ancient Olympics and the present event.

Japan, famous for its origami, was consistent with its artistry showing the matching of pictures featuring the different Olympic games. Thank you, Japan, for hosting the event amid the pandemic.

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