Don’t give up on Olympic dream – Poe
Putting an end to the country’s quest for an Olympic gold medal highlighted Senator Grace Poe’s brief foray into sports during her speech Wednesday night when she announced her desire to seek the presidency next year.
The Philippines, in its 100 years of participation in the Olympics, hasn’t won a gold medal.
So far, the Philippines has brought home a total of nine medals, two silvers and seven bronzes.
The closest the Philippines got to capturing the elusive gold was in 1964 when Anthony Villanueva lost a controversial decision to Stanislav Stepashkin of Russia in the featherweight finals.
The only other time was in 1996 in Atlanta, when another fighter— light-fly Onyok Velasco—was beaten on points by Daniel Petrov Bujilov of Bulgaria.
The seven bronze medalists were swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso (1928 and 1932), high-jumper Simeon Toribio (1932), boxer Cely Villanueva (1932), hurdler Miguel White (1936), boxer Leopoldo Serantes (1988) and another boxer, Roel Velasco (1992).
Citing the “pitiful conditions” of Filipino athletes, the 47-year-old Poe told the audience that Filipinos “should never give up on our dream to win an Olympic gold medal.”
The next Olympics, which will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be held from Aug. to 21 next year with the Philippines aiming to strike after being shut out in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).
“The government should give importance and support to the fields of arts and sports. We are known as a creative race of visual artists, writers and performers, but we do not value them and provide enough assistance. Even if they bring our country fame, what do they get in return?” added Poe.