The Sorry State of Filipino Athletes at the Olympics

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Submitted By rollingrocks
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THE SORRY STATE OF FILIPINO ATHLETES AT THE OLYMPICS

“Look! Even, what’s that—Uzbekistan?! What’s Uzbekistan?! Even this Uzbekistan has at least one medal,” my 10-year-old cousin shouts as she buries her head into her hands upon seeing the day’s Olympic medal count. For this year’s Olympic Games in London, the Philippines sent out eleven athletes to compete in eight sports, making it the smallest Philippine delegation at the Summer Games since 1936. Out of those eleven, only two made it past their events’ preliminary rounds: boxer Mark Barriga and BMX cyclist Daniel Caluag. Neither of them advanced any further. For the fourth straight Olympiad, the Philippines failed to get a medal of any sort.
It’s a sorry sight; and it seems as though many other Filipinos are getting sick and tired of coming up short at these international competitions. Cue the blame game. Comments fly left and right about what our government is doing wrong, how these athletes never get enough funds, or how there’s just a simple lack of training and discipline. It could be all these things, but the problems don’t just stop at the shortage of resources; it goes way deeper than that. Among all the different groups involved in the process of preparing and training these Filipino athletes, it seems as though majority of the fingers are pointed at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). According to Monico Puentevella, the chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), PAGCOR is to blame for the Philippines’ lacklustre performance at the Olympics, specifically because of a “continuing budget cut allocation of sports” (Buenafe). Naturally, the corporation denied this, and insisted that it has been providing the same percentage of funds that they’ve been required to provide ever since. In fact, according to PAGCOR, allocations for sports have increased over the past two…...

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