WHILE there were high hopes for the country’s first gold medal at the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, we are already seeing athletes win some and lose some. It is the very nature of competition. We cannot win it all. We can only prepare so much and compete at a high level all the time. Athletes who already made the country proud with their performances: Cris Nievarez (Rowing-quarterfinals 5th place finish), Margielyn Didal (Skateboarding-7th place), Jayson Valdez (Shooting), Kurt Barbosa (Taekwondo).
Our boxers are still 4-0 going into the thick of the competition in their respective weight classes. Eumir Marcial and Nesthy Petecio are keeping the gold medal hopes alive for boxing as of this writing.
Yet to see action are our golfers, judo, athletics, and weightlifting pride. Swimmer Luke Gebbie is also set to compete. In contrast, Remedy Rule will still compete in the 200-m freestyle and butterfly after failing to secure a semis slot in the 100-m butterfly event. Carlos Yulo is also in the same scenario as Rule, having lost a medal bid in the floor exercises but qualifying for the medal round of the Men’s vault.
As stated, competitions go either way. We cannot win it all. These wins and losses are learning points, gauges into how far we have gone regarding preparations and training.
As a former basketball coach, I look into these opportunities as it allows me to make the necessary adjustments as I prepare for the next round of competitions. If we win, we are doing things accordingly. If we lose, things and adjustments are forthcoming.
As these Olympians win and lose, they are subjected to critics calling them out unfairly, especially on losses. As responsible media, we are bound to tell the truth. Still, it does not give us the liberty to call out shortcomings that these athletes have no direct control over. Being an Olympian is already an achievement in itself. And doing it in this time of pandemic makes these Filipino athletes a particular group of Olympians.
They never stopped training and competing for their chance at Olympic glory, both personal and for the nation.
As the remaining days of the Tokyo Olympics wind down and our athletes continue to compete, this is a call for everyone to become more sensitive to the efforts of these athletes, win or lose.