Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr: Filipino Olympians embody quintessence of Filipino spirit

2024 June 21

GO FOR GOLD. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (center, 2nd row) joins Team Philippines to the Paris Olympics at the send-off ceremony held at Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros on Friday night (June 21, 2024). He exhorted the athletes to always exemplify the very best of what it means to be a Filipino — competitive, courageous, and determined. (Photo courtesy of PCO)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday said the Filipino athletes heading to the Olympic Games in Paris embody the “quintessence of Filipino spirit” which is defined by perseverance, sacrifice, discipline and excellence.

“The athletes that we are sending to this year’s Olympics embody the quintessence of that Filipino spirit – a spirit that knows no bounds, thrives on adversity, and dares to break any barriers put before them,” Marcos said in his speech during the send-off ceremony for the Philippine athletes at Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros.

Marcos said the Paris-bound Filipinos carry with them not just the country’s banner, but also the “hopes and dreams” of the nation.

“Whether in the boxing ring, on the gymnastics floor, or in any [arena] that you compete in, you exemplify the very best of what it means to be a Filipino — we are competitive, courageous, and determined. But we do it with a smile on our face,” Marcos said.

“As you step onto the global stage, hold our flag high and show the world what a Filipino is made of. We believe in you. We are proud of you. And we will be with you every step of this remarkable journey,” he added.

The President highlighted that PHP52 million has been allotted for the preparation, training and participation of Filipino athletes in the Olympics.

He further noted that about PHP1.156 billion has been allocated for sports funding, through the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

As for sports facilities, he said the National Academy of Sports System in Tarlac and the Philippine Sports Training Center in Bataan are nearing completion to train and develop present and aspiring athletes for future competitions, while the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and the PhilSports Complex in Pasig are being rehabilitated.

President Marcos, meanwhile, directed the Office of the Executive Secretary to release additional funds to the PSC to help support the preparation and participation for the July 26 to Aug. 11 quadrennial Games.

“All of these demonstrate this commitment that we have to the advancement of Filipino athletes by equipping them with the tools and encouragement to realize their full potential,” he said.

Marcos urged all Filipinos to rally behind the athletes.

“After all, we are not chasing medals. We are sprinting towards making history, bringing honor to our country and inspiring us all,” he said.

The athletes who qualified for the Paris Olympics are pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena; gymnasts Carlos Yulo, Aleah Finnegan, Levi Ruivivar and Emma Malabuyo; boxers Aira Villegas, Nesthy Petecio, Hergie Bacyadan, Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam; rower Joanie Delgaco; weightlifters Vanessa Sarno, John Ceniza and Elreen Ando; and fencer Sam Catantan.

 Filane Mikee Cervantes (PNA)