PROUD DAY FOR ROWERS, EMBARRASSING ONE FOR SPORTS OFFICIALS
by JOSE ALAIN AUSTRIA
Photograph by Erix Leano / Original post by flyingjeepney.tumblr.com.
“A few months ago, a former Philippine rowing team member told me of the dilemma of the country’s dragon boat squad. They were literally robbed of their chance for a gold medal in the Guanzhou Asian Games last year because some “talangka” in our sports hierarchy commented that the PHI Team’s recorded time is “too fast” and may have been a fluke, an error. We lost our chance to be Asian Games champion…worse…the team had to literally beg for funding as those tycoons in the PSC and POC ignored their requests.
Fast forward to 2011…and the Philippines emerged as one of the superpowers of dragon-boat racing in the world…practically dominating the Tampa edition of the world championships. Short of funding and official support from the state that they represent, the ordinary people came to the rescue.Touching to see all those Filipinos in Florida doing their own version of bayanihan...cooking meals and sending money to our squad.
Now that they proved to the “people up there” that they made a terrible mistake in under-estimating their winning potential…I wonder if those corrupt culprits will still have the nerve to appear in the victory celebrations and lead the toast for PHI team? Sad but true, ang nagmamaliit sa atletang Pilipino ay kapuwa rin niyang Pilipino.
It will take time to get rid of this useless crab-mentality. But for the meantime, I would like to extend my congratulations to the Philippine Dragon Boat Team for making the country proud and uplifting our spirits amidst the toxicity of everyday news.
Congratulations to the Philippine Dragon Boat Team! Our very own three-time World Champions are roaring despite limited funding, clinching their back-to-back-to-back world title, new world records, and, the admiration of a country. Let’s support the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation!