THE Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled on July 23 to August 8, 2021. That's barely two months to go and here's another Tokyo Olympic-bound athlete, in the name of Eumir Felix Marcial, ranting on social media about the alleged lack of support from the national government.
While his fellow national boxing teammates are currently in Thailand for a training bubble, Marcial has been training in his hometown in Zamboanga City ever since he arrived from his US trip in April.
It can be recalled that Marcial left for the United States in October 2020 to train with coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym for his professional debut opposite Andrew Whitfield whom he defeated via unanimous decision.
Tokyo-bound boxers Carlo Paalam, Irish Magno, and our very own Nesthy Alcayde Petecio are also in Thailand for their Olympic preparations.
On his Facebook, Marcial posted on Wednesday, May 12, "Since last year nong nasa United States ako hanggang ngayon dito sa Zamboanga City, tingin niyo sapat ang 43,000 pesos monthly allowance para sa preparation para sa Olympics? (which is allowance ko yun sa sarili ko as a national athlete) Do you think I can rely jan sa 43,000 pesos para sa plane tickets, accommodation, food, coaching staff, supplements, masseur, and etc.?"
He also claimed that private sponsors and his personal money are being used to fund his Olympic training.
However, the reason why he went to the States was for his pro fight under the MP Promotions of Senator Manny Pacquiao, right? He trained there for his professional fight, and not for his Olympic preparations. There's a lot of difference between amateur and professional boxing. This was also pointed out by Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) secretary-general Ed Picson who urged him to train with the Olympic-style boxers and trainers.
Picson, via an ABS-CBN news report, said that professional boxing is good for professional boxing and that Marcial should be training in an environment for amateur or Olympic-style boxing.
Boxers and coaches, who are in the Thailand training bubble since March 10, were accorded with the kinds of support that Marcial mentioned on his post by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Abap.
Before flying to Thailand, the national boxing team also had a training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, starting January 15 with all the support needed from plane tickets to accommodation, and meals, among other necessities. Their monthly allowances, although at first delayed due to strict government procedures, were also provided.
Marcial's concerns would have easily been addressed had he joined the training bubble with his teammates from the very start. All the support he was asking for was just right there.
Although Picson said Abap provided him equipment and a coach, it's really different to be training with the team.
Petecio earlier told me she really appreciated the training bubbles in Laguna and in Thailand as she really improved and learned a lot. This was also attested by Coach Nolito "Boy" Velasco who said they have leveled up training for the Olympians.
Here's to hoping that this issue is resolved soon with all parties involved so as not to jeopardize the morale of all athletes competing in Tokyo.
The best way, as always, is to keep your cool and dialogue with the people concerned. Ranting on social media should never be an option for a national athlete who also happens to be a soldier. And I believe that goes for everyone. Pwede ra man na maistoryahan, diba?
I also hope and pray that the athletes get the needed help for their mental and spiritual conditioning and not just their physical conditioning. After all, playing in any huge sports spectacle such as the Olympics requires them to be in “full battle gear.”