MANILA (PNA) -- Senate President Manuel Villar called on the entire nation to rally behind the 15 Filipino athletes who will try to realize the country’s age-old dream of winning its first ever Olympic gold in the forthcoming 2008 Beijing Games.
“Let us throw our all-out support to these 15 magnificent Filipino athletes who will carry our flag in the biggest sporting stage of them all for their victory will surely provide the needed boost in our quest for unity, prosperity and lasting peace,” said Villar in a statement.
Now one of the biggest benefactors of billiards, Villar urged his fellow leaders in government to invest in sports.
“We should look at sports as the best opportunity to bring back the lost confidence and faith of our people amid numerous problems besetting our country,” the Nacionalista Party president said.
“We lost our faith and confidence as an individual, and for that reason, our country continues to lose self-confidence. We should bring it back through sports which unites us as a nation every time somebody steps up in the international arena,” he added.
The man who is known for his “Sipag at Tiyaga” outlook also expressed confidence on each of the 15 Filipino athletes’ chances in the Games despite the overwhelming odds.
“We Filipinos are known for resiliency especially during hard times. So I’m very much confident that they would be able to overcome whatever disadvantage we have and achieve the victory that we’ve been longing for,” Villar said.
The Philippines has not won an Olympic gold since it joined the quadrennial meet in 1924. The best the country has done was winning two silver medals, the last coming in the 1996 edition in Atlanta courtesy of boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco. It also has won a total of seven bronze medals. The 15 Filipino athletes, who will slug it out with the world’s bests in their respective fields, are boxer Harry Tanamor, taekwondo jins Mary Antoinette Rivero and Tshomlee Go, archer Mark Javier, shooter Eric Ang, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, tracksters Marestella Torres and Henry Dagmil, swimmers Miguel Molina, Ryan Arabejo, Daniel Coakley, James Walsh and Christel Simms, and divers Shiela Mae Perez and Rexel Ryan Fabriga. (PNA)
Blog Credits: Positive News Media