Will the Philippines win its first Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Filipino athletes, sports enthusiasts, and fanatics hope so.
There has always been an abundance of skill and potential among athletes in the Philippines. However, since the country joined the famed international competition in 1924, the Philippine team has yet to bring home a gold medal, always succumbing to stronger, faster representatives of other countries despite our nation’s passion for sports.
There are many reasons for this, such as lack of support for proper training of athletes, rundown and old sports facilities, and lack of coordination among various sports bodies. There are also other sports that Filipino players and teams can excel at, but they are not getting the support and attention they need. Thus, promising athletes remain undiscovered while professional players are deprived of the opportunity to train and compete in the international arena.
Despite these, the Philippines has won 10 runner-up medals – three silver and seven bronze – at the Summer Olympics games of boxing, athletics, swimming, and weightlifting.
Our most recent medal was from Hidilyn Diaz (wiki) who bagged a historic silver in the Women’s weightlifting category, ending the country’s 20-year Olympics medal drought and becoming the first Filipina to ever win an Olympic medal.
While Diaz’s win was greatly celebrated, on a wider scale, the country has not progressed much in the Olympics—making the nation ever hungrier for the elusive gold.
But hope seems to be on the horizon for the Philippines’ best of the best, as now, thanks to the support of the private sector, their dream—and the nation’s dream of bringing home a gold —may not be so far-fetched after all.
Last March, the Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation was launched with the sole goal of winning for our country our first Olympic gold. The nation’s largest businesses are pooling their funds to help support our best athletes with training equipment and facilities, coaching, exposure to international competitions, education, housing, and livelihood programs.
It takes a village to raise a child, as it is said. In this case, it takes a country to build an Olympic gold athlete. Every Filipino should rally to support our athletes in whatever way we can, so that in three years’ time, we can make history – with our first Philippine Olympic gold.