What's in store for a Filipino gold medal winner in the Tokyo Olympics?
Under the law, the government is mandated to award P10 million in cold cash to any Filipino athlete who could win the country’s first Olympic gold medal.
A silver medal effort will be rewarded P5 million and a bronze is worth P2 million.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino also promised a house and lot in Tagaytay City for any athlete, who will finally quench the country’s gold-medal drought in the 97-year existence of the Olympics.
So far, that’s it.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pledges from private companies are hard to come by except for some, which expressed their willingness to help Olympic-bound athletes in their training and preparation.
In a Facebook post, Ronald Mascarinas, president of Agro Bounty, expressed support to the nine athletes, who have so far qualified for the Tokyo Olympics set July 23 to August 8.
“We are hopeful that our nine elite athletes, who already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics will finally break our gold-medal drought in the Olympics,” said Mascarinas, who recently has also begun supporting Eumir Marcial, one the Philippines’ four Olympic-bound boxers, and his family.
Former national Olympic boxer Charlie Suarez admitted that financial incentives and other forms of rewards add motivation for them to pursue the elusive gold, but clarified that the mere prospect of giving honor to the country and fellow Filipinos is more than enough to give their all in the ring.
“Nasa athlete na talaga ‘yung pagpupursige, to follow na lang ‘yung pera kung may maiuwi na gold o medalya,” said Suarez, who competed in the Rio Olympics in 2016 before turning professional a few years later. He competed again for the country one more time and won a boxing gold in the 2019 Philippines Southeast Asian Games.
Hidilyn Diaz, who bagged a silver medal in weightlifting in the 2016 Rio Olympics, received P5 million from the Philippine Sports Commission and another P2 million from President Rodrigo Duterte. A realty developer also gave Diaz a townhouse unit in Pampanga.
Diaz again made it to the Olympics, looking to duplicate if not surpass her Rio feat in Tokyo.
Aside from Marcial and Diaz, also going to Tokyo are rower Cris Nievarez pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, and 2019 AIBA Women’s world champion Nesthy Petecio.
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