HANOI — Nagbigay ng inspiring words ang mga Filipino sports leader sa mga miyembro ng Team Philippines sa bisperas ng opening ceremony ng 31stSoutheast Asian Games kahapon.
“Let me start by a word of gratitude for all of you for trusting me another term to lead as City Mayor of Tagaytay,” sabi ni Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino, na balik sa pagiging mayor ng Tagaytay City matapos na makumpleto ang kanyang full term bilang kinatawan ng eighth congressional district ng Cavite.
“I am bringing that victory with me, as an inspiration to our team. I am also bringing the new leadership of our country with me with a fervent hope of their support to our athletes,” dagdag ni Tolentino, na sa ilalim ng kanyang pamamahala bilang POC president ay nadominahan ng bansa ang Philippines 2019 SEA Games, isang tagumpay na nahila hanggang sa Tokyo noong nakaraang taon nang masikwat ni weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz ang kauna-unahang Olympic gold medal ng bansa.
“I am now back in Vietnam to lead our contingent in another rally to boost the morale of our athletes, this time to defend our medals during the last SEA Games,” aniya. “It will be a difficult task because we don’t have the advantage of our friendly host.
“But we will be putting up a really good fight because we are now regaining our old stature as an athletic force in South East Asia.”
Dagdag pa ni : “In my heart, I honestly see the desire of our athletes to bring home the medals. It might be because our leadership is being felt, that support to them has been pouring from the government and the stakeholders that are behind us with more enthusiasm.”
“Team Philippines, we are one and we will always be one,” pagbibigay-diin niya.
Nagpahayag naman si Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez ng tiwala sa mga Filipino athlete.
“This edition presented extra challenges given the pandemic,” ani Ramirez. “I’m keeping my faith in the heart of our national athletes to overcome and come home victorious.”
Higit pa sa pagwawagi ng medalya sa Vietnam ang nais ni Ramirez, na ang pamumuno ay nagresulta sa overall championships ng bansa sa 2005 at 2019 SEA Games.
“I hope our athletes will not only win, but will also truly experience the Games while they are there,” pahayag ni Ramirez mula sa kanyang PSC office sa Manila. “Win medals, win friends.”
Patuloy namang nagbibigay ng inspirasyon si PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez sa mga atleta bilang chef de mission sa Games na hindi natuloy noong Disyembre ng nakaraang taon dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know that the athletes are eager to show their wares,” sabi ni Fernandez. “Their spirits are high, and I wish them good luck and always remind them to have fun.”