Philippine athletes who did not win medals at the Tokyo Olympics will still be rewarded

With so much focus on the respective Olympic victories of Hidilyn Diaz (gold in women’s weightlifting) and Nesthy Petecio (silver in women’s boxing) as well as the remaining chances of the Philippines to win more medals at the Tokyo Olympics, it is natural to forget all the other national athletes who failed to win any medals.

There is however a breakthrough for the non-medalists among the Philippine team members at the Olympics as it was announced yesterday that such athletes will actually be rewarded half-a-million Philippine pesos each thanks to the generosity of the MVP Sports Foundation. In short, the Olympic non-medalists will not go home empty handed (praise and thank the Lord).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report. Some parts in boldface…

For being part of the Philippines’ most successful Olympic campaign ever, even those who failed to land a podium finish in this year’s Tokyo Olympics will still receive a monetary reward.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced on Thursday that the MVP Sports Foundation will be giving away PHP500,000 each to the Olympic non-medalists.

Everyone on Team Philippines in these ‘Golden Olympics’ deserve all the praises, and in this case, incentives, they need,” POC president Bambol Tolentino said. “Qualifying for the Olympics is already that difficult, what more competing in the Games themselves.”

Benefiting from this development are rowing’s Cris Nievarez, taekwondo’s Kurt Barbosa, skateboarding’s Margielyn Didal, shooting’s Jayson Valdez, gymnastics’ Carlos Yulo, boxing’s Irish Magno, judo’s Kiyomi Watanabe, weightlifting’s Elreen Ando, golf’s Juvic Pagunsan, athletics’ EJ Obiena (pole vault), Kristina Knott (200m run), and swimming’s Remedy Rule and Luke Gebbie.

The place in the history of the Philippines’ 2020 Tokyo Olympics team has been secured when Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first-ever gold in the women’s 55-kg weightlifting event.

Nesthy Petecio added a silver in the women’s featherweight boxing event.

Still in the running for a medal are golfers Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan.

Pagdanganan finished the first round of the women’s golf event within striking distance of a Top 3 finish after going two-under-par 69 on Wednesday, good for a share of seventh place with Round 2 ongoing as of posting.

On the other hand, boxers Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam are already assured of medals as well but can still upgrade them to silver or even gold.

As you can see in the details above, the Philippine team of athletes at the Olympics is pretty small and yet it is the most successful in terms of medals achieved (including the nation’s first-ever Olympic gold medal). At the same time, it is only right for the athletes to be provided something not only because everyone is struggling during this COVID-19 pandemic but also because training for important sports events representing the country requires a lot of money for the years to come.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the P500,000 incentive for each non-medalist is good enough? Do you think that more private enterprises should donate more to the non-medalists?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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