Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sports "bokya"

First of all allow me to congratulate our Olympians in Beijing.

Athletics: Marestella Torres and Henry Dagmil
Boxing: Harry Tanamor
Diving: Sheila Mae Perez and Rexel Ryan Fabriga
Swimming: Daniel Cockley, Ryan Paolo Arabejo, Miguel Molina, James Walsh and Joan Christel Simms
Weightlifting: Hidilyn Diaz
Shooting: Eric Ang
Archer: Mark Javier
Taekwondo:Toni Rivero and Tshomlee Go

For doing their best, the Philippines deserves to congratulate them. They represent really what sports mean. It really means doing your best this time and better the next, the medals are only incidentals.

(BTW, I also have to congratulate our Wushu artist Willy Wang who bagged the gold! Wushu is a special event and not a demonstration sport at the Olympics. Since China is now a superpower, Wushu can be an Olympic sport in 2020!)

Perhaps who really deserve the bokya are the heads of our sports associations. They have failed to get their act together everytime the Olympics come about. My sister was a national athlete and she told me tales of how athletes are shortchanged.

Also at least our athletes are never the subject of doping allegations and they never did a Milli Vanilli!

BTW, there is a time in one's life when he/she has to take up a sport and compete. Unfortunately, all the teams (save one) I have been a part of have been the cellar dwellers in sports. My high school class team in soccer ended up last in the intramurals for three consecutive years! The ping pong team ended up last! Our homeroom baseball team ended up the 8th in a field of 8! Our taekwondo team failed to qualify and I got smashed by a La Sallian! The chess team checked out early! When I was working in a Makati office, my department's bowling team ended up last!

The only exception to the bokya trend is my ROTC shooting team where we got the team gold and I got the individual silver (this the only sports medal I have!) in 1986. We blanked out Ateneo and the Blue Eagle laid a big fat egg! La Salle? They got shot in the eliminations! The Green Arrows were no match for the Maroon bullets.

The moral of my bokya athletic career is that 1) winning isn't everything. It's how we played the game and we had fun! Number 2 is that there is always a next time to do bettter

So later on in life I chose non-competitive sports like bushwalking and SCUBA diving.

We can't all be Olympians like Toni and Tshomlee but at least when we do sport, a little of the Olympic ideal rubs on us.

PS: After following on TV our Olympic campaign, I think I have developed a crush on Toni Rivero. She reminds me of that pretty sparring partner in high school taekwondo. But on second thought like my high school sparring partner, she can kick my butt!

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