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We Need More Filipinos in the Olympics!

Watching the 2012 Olympics is a frigging labour! Couldn’t we have sent more than the measly eleven – is it? – that we sent to London? It’s the Olympics, after all! Sometimes, I think we take austerity way too seriously!

I can understand that there used to be those who went to the Olympics to take all-expenses-paid vacations. Taxpayers’ money, of course!

On the other hand, what do we tell the world when we only send the few that we did? That we are dirt-poor?

But the world knows that already!

And if we’re not, couldn’t we have sent more? I mean, didn’t the President say in the SONA that we are now able to lend funds to other countries. And we can’t spend for our very own?

As things are, watching the Olympics has become such a laboured affair. What fun is there to watching Indonesians match up against Thais in badminton? Or watching the Chinese dominate diving as everyone expected them to?

We need Filipinos in the Olympics, full stop! That pint-sized boxer last night – Barriga, who squared up against this taller Italian – finally had my adrenalin flowing.

Fine if our countrymen win – which, of course, our boxer did quite comfortably. But it sure as hell is just as fine if they don’t, because they are Filipinos and they are fighting for the country.

That boxing match sure beat watching skeet shooting which I can’t even understand. I mean, a competitor aims a rifle, pulls the trigger and something pink explodes in the air. Duh!

I know... There is no point in sending athletes to the Olympics if they will only get their faces rubbed in the dirt. But surely we have more than the few we sent who can give good accounts of themselves?

It’s great to have athletes who can go for gold, of course; and even silver or a bronze will be just as fine. But it’s also just as good to know that – even for just a few moments – this frequently divided nation can become unified in supporting a Filipino athlete.

Sport rather tends to do that, you know. Unify peoples, I mean. Were it up to me, I would have gladly authorized the participation of more. After all, this only happens once every four years.

The entire world is watching, mind! And the world is just as wont to applaud bravery and gallantry as it will medals…

What a pity because I’m sure that there are many who are prepared to stand behind Filipino athletes, win or lose. Personally, I used to get so thrilled at the sight of our athletes in the familiar red, white and blue while watching past Olympics.

It’s that great feeling that you get from knowing that you’re right there represented in the grand global party. And it’s a feeling that I am feeling deprived of this year…

So what do we all do now? Cheer for the Dream Team because this country continues to be rabidly crazy about basketball? Or cheer for the Thais, Malaysians, Singaporeans, Vietnamese, Indonesians and our other Southeast Asian neighbours?

Or, perhaps, we can all boo the Chinese for their arrogance in the West Philippine Sea?

There is only limited appeal to watching Venus Williams in the tennis competition; or the French rally to beat the Germans in rowing; or the Americans dominate the pools as they perennially do.

No! We need to have more Filipinos in the Olympics!

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