Four years of hard training and their test and quest for glory has finally come, not just for themselves but for the 36.6 million Canadians cheering for them this month. In the Sochi Games, Canada won 25 medals and Canada this year, sent a delegation of 225 athletes, including Filipino-Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio of Calgary and we hope Team Canada will exceed their medal harvest of four years ago.
Junio is best remembered for giving up his spot to teammate Denny Morrison, who won a silver in the 1,000-meter event in 2014. Oh, that was unforgettable.
It is also good to note that the Philippines has two athletes in the Olympics, figure skater Michael Christian Martinez and Asa Miller, competing in Alpine skiing and we wish them well.
What interests me the most is the Unified Team of South and North Korea. Watching them enter under one flag that shows the Korean Peninsula, brought both joy and sadness to me.
Sports, to me, means peace and harmony. It means friendship. It means love for one another. Only in sports can we compete hard and valiantly against our rivals yet even if we lose, after the game, we extend our hands to congratulate the victors and even embrace them for a job well done.
That, we only do in sports.
You see, dear readers, I’ve been involved in sports development in the Philippines for more than two decades and have been very vocal and in writing, that sports development should be treated as basic as food, clothing, shelter and health care in order to have a strong and vibrant nation.
Yet, alleged corruption in sports has made this impossible with Philippine sports leaders sticking like leeches to their posts for decades. Yet, I still hope that the Filipino athletes back in the land of our birth will be united to fight and not be afraid of losing their spots in the national teams and stand up against so-called sports leaders despite threats to be removed from the national line-up and as a consequence will lose their source of income for their families.
Back to the Winter Games, I hope that negotiations between North and South Korean officials will be fruitful and that peace and harmony will reign over Korea.
And in the Philippines, I hope that the ongoing sports movement to fight alleged corruption and improve the condition of sports development will be a reality.
Let us continue to spread love through sports. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.
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Talking about sports reminds me of grade 5 student Isla Diesmos, a bemedalled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete in Calgary.
Isla is an anti-bullying advocate who is preparing for the Pan Kids IBJFF Jiu-Jitsu Championship this month in Long Beach and the Philippine BJJ International Gi and No Gi Open in March in Manila.
We can show her our love too by supporting her Competition Fund through https://www.gofundme.com/isladiesmos.
Thank you Albertans!