Saturday, August 23, 2008

That Elusive GOLD

My eyes and mind have been diverted all these past weeks with the live telecast of the Games right in the comfort of my living room. And I enjoy watching them all. Imagine the pleasure if our Kababayans would have snatched a Silver or two...even a Bronze would suffice.

I can't help but laugh at how the Pinoy Team officials, including the double squatters in Malacanang`s loud cry: "Go for Gold!"

NO offernse intended to the athletes who were part of the Pinoy Team. I know they really dream of having one. Who wouldn't anyway....but everything seems to be a joke. And we all know that, from the deepest cubicle of our hearts.

Nurturing a body needs constant care, right? In the same light, a well-toned, muscled body with all the right curves and abs isn't an overnight miracle. Unless, of course you're a regular Calayan or Belo client, suntok sa buwan ang hangad mo.

Honing a skill is even tougher. And skill is what is needed in any physical competition, just like the Olympics.

China is a shining example. It trains its atletes right after they started to learn to walk. Then there's the process of eliminations...and continuous training. Japan, USA, Germany and all other countries do so on a regular basis. And they have sponsors for athletes like these, usually the companies employing these people. This is aside, of course, from the subsidies and training allowance extended by the government program.

Even Jamaica which recently produced 'Bolt' and other women sprinters claim that it wasn't an overnight sensation. I happen to catch a TV interview aired in one of the sports channel here and the coach showed how they do it there. For lack of facilities, they train on dirt roads [we call them farmer roads here] and run early on. Children as young as five or four do that regularly. Likewise, Kenyans do the walking most of their life, hence their endurance in marathons.

Japan has been focused on almost all sports including Swimming, Judo and Baseball. Each school has a baseball/softball team which compete once a year. This is to say that practice and training is an all-year sked. The process of elimination is done first on area level, then goes on to state/provincial level, which in turn go for the national championship. From these pool, scouts look for the ones they develop for the Professional level.And mind you, these become big earners. Some even go for it in the Major League and earn double, even triple their initial earnings. Athletes are then picked up from various Pro team to represent the National Team in any international competition.

They also have a long tradition on Sumo and Karate, although these are not [yet] included in the Games, the focus here is on body training.

What I want to point out is the fact that Pinoy sport officials need not brag about what they have been doing, which is really nada. The best thing for all of them to do now is to resign and have former athletes run the agency,or the commission, whichever way they call it. Only athletes know best what to do and how. Get rid of politicos who are there only to be seen.

It is time schools focus on the athletics and make the P.E. classes competitive right from the early stages. Every teacher must have their eyes keen on looking for the potential athletes in every kid they handle. And the government must finance the sports program in order to develop the state of the Pinoy health. Enough of those sanabagan junkets which only use people's money carelessly. Sayang! Instead, put them all to benefit the entire population and sports is one of them.

The Philippines is surrounded by bodies of water. We are an island nation, same as Japan. Yet....we still have to produce the greatest swimmer in history. Why is that?

We used to have sprinters, but that was decades ago. We achieved Asian Champs but never reached Gold in Olympics, except for some in Boxing, I guess. This has to be addressed ASAP.

This is a dream of one who have watched numerous Olympics and have groaned at the dismal display of local athletes and 'officials', who, most often outnumber the sportsmen/women in the parade of nations at opening ceremonies. Time to do something if we wanna make a small dent for the next trip to London. It is never too late to do something



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