Mendoza: Why we send losers to the Olympic meet-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
KEN Angeles called me up on Saturday morning and asked, “Why do we have bets in swimming and track and field in London when we know we will not win in those events, anyway?”
Ken, who owns the perennially jam-packed Yellow Fin Tuna Restaurant in Davao City, said he and his wife were sort of having a discussion over whether there was wisdom or not in maintaining that practice once every four years.
Thank, God, my refereeing was very timely – just in time to avert spoiling their breakfast over some such silly issue as our Olympic participation in swimming and athletics.
After my chat with Ken, he heaved a sigh of relief.
“Now I can finish my breakfast without indigestion,” he said.
I told him that in swimming and athletics, it is mandatory for us to send bets not only to London but to all Olympic Games likewise in abeyance to a ruling by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The rest of the events that we had been entered in London, we only dispatched those who passed Olympic qualifying tournaments. Thus, we also had two qualifiers in archery, and one qualifier each in shooting, judo, BMX cycling, weightlifting and boxing.
The qualifiers had been introduced by the IOC in order to control the volume of athletes, limiting swimming and athletics as mandatory for all 204 member-nations to participate in.
Yes, Ken, as far as I know, the expenses for our swimmers (two) and our athletics (two) bets are subsidized by the IOC.
“At least fair enough,” Ken said. “We don’t waste money on sending outright losers to the Olympics.”
Did we waste money on our other losers in London? Not exactly, really. It was for Olympism.
(Happy birthday to Ram Maxey, who turns 90 on Aug. 12. Ram is the father of Charles, the former sports editor of Sun. Star Davao who is now the paper’s business editor. Ram, sharp and sprightly as ever, and I had whiskey last February in Davao during the PAL Interclub; we almost killed a bottle. He looked 50 to me, the reason he remains a top gun at one of the biggest business newspapers in Mindanao. To you Ram, cheers and beers!)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 12, 2012.