When the South East Asian Games were held in the Philippines in 2019, the organizers were attacked with fake news. It did not work. PH Sports surged forward, putting all doubts to rest.
We wrote all about it here. No half-baked demolition job could blemish the truth. The event was a grand success, and our athletes made us proud, raking in a total of 387 medals (149 golds), with Thailand a distant second place with 318.
As these Tokyo Olympics unfold, with our Hidilyn Diaz inking us into the record books, we once again prove that there is no counter-narrative to victory. When our athletes win, the country wins. That’s been the story of PH Sports. Whether we have supported them enough then, or could have done more, in whichever way and whichever sport, the Filipino sportsman (or woman) has always been resilient.
The greatest athletes in PH Sports history were known to sleep in billiard halls and boxing gyms, undernourished and under-equipped. And we have learned from them. We have done better lately. We have given justice to their cries for help.
International competition is an entirely different world, though, requiring massive budgets (only exacerbated by the pandemic), and non-negotiable collaboration between public and private donors. But we still managed to do it, and we’ve brought home the hardware – the fruits of our labor.
Now is not the time to point fingers. Now is a time for hope, to hear the stories of our champions, specially in these times of despair. To share in the lessons of their respective journeys. Sports has saved our morale many times in the past, and here it comes to save again.
There is no price tag for national pride. Let’s keep supporting our athletes, and PH sports, whatever the cost.