Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dismal Performance at the Olympics

It has been more than 12 years since a Filipino last won a medal in the Olympics. That honor I believe belongs to an Ilonggo, Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, who won the silver medal for boxing at the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta. His twin brother, Roel Velasco, likewise won the bronze medal during the 1992 Olympics. The Velasco brothers hail from Bago City, Negros Occidental. Before them, records show that the last Olympic medal won by the Philippines was at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics by another boxer, Anthony Villanueva. Villanueva's father Jose in turn won a bronze medal during the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics (read more here).

For the 2008 Beijing Olympics the Philippines is sending only 15 athletes supposedly because they are the only ones with a fighting chance to break into the medal round. So far, the performance of our athletes can only be described as dismal. I am especially disappointed in Eric Ang who, by finishing dead last in the trap shooting event, did not even give our journalists a window to write some bs story about how he fought a good fight, how he had "heart" etc. etc . I did not expect him to win the gold medal but I also did not expect him to be dead last. Instead of bringing honor and recognition for our country, he brought us shame - "Filipino finishes dead last in Olympics" - that's what they're writing about us in the Olympics right now. Contrast this to what they've been saying about Ang weeks before the games (read here). Sports pundits have been building up and pinning their hopes on another boxer, Harry Tañamor, to bring home the medal but looks like he's also out of the game. "Tañamor was completely outfought and outsmarted by Mangyo Plange, the Afican light flyweight champion who moved to the round of 16 with a clear-cut 6-3 decision at the Beijing Workers Stadium" - this is what the Inquirer is reporting about him here (read it and weep).

For those who are not disheartened enough or still interested to know about our athletes's performance in Beijing, Wikipedia has a running tally board here.

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