The High Price Of Raising An Olympian


Money, Money, Money is the number One problem of our Philippine Sports in developing or raising an Olympian which is absolutely true to other athletes of other countries. Funding is translated for the payment of the Coaches, Clothing/Athletic Apparel, Housing or Accommodation, Food & Nutrition, Travel & Exposures to International Games, Insurance & Medical Needs, Family Support (if the athlete has a wife & kids), Sport Facility Fees and Membership to Fitness Clubs/Gyms, and Sports Biomechanics and Sports Psychology Support.

I have yet to find out a news article that says how much did the PSC or POC or the National Sports Associations spent for each of the 15 Filipino Olympians to the 2008 Beijing Olympics during their training and preparation for the 2008 Bejing Olympics. If not, maybe, asking how much our swimmer Miguel Molina spent for his training for the 2008 Olympics out of his family financial resources.

I had observed that they (government, supporters & rich private individuals, and sponsors) give such funding/money as a reward if the Filipino Olympian wins a medal. If the PSC or POC or the National Sports Associations are giving funding to these athletes, I have the impression that the support is not enough. Can we not do the reverse way of spending the rewards first (P 15M) to raise or develop Filipino Olympians and not promising them of any financial rewards if they win the gold medal? And later give the rewards after a Filipino Olympian wins the Gold Medal?

To my mind, a Filipino Olympic Gold Medalist needs only the following basic needs—a decent house & lot, a simple car, a monthly financial support to support his family and training, free medical & dental services, educational scholarship & monthly support (for books & school needs) for himself and for his children up to college degree, and an employment/job in the private or local government sector or a simple business of his own.   

Miraclecello, if you are reading this post, maybe you can make a story on this topic from our 15 Filipino Olympians since you are there right now in Beijing.

Aside from the need of funding, the interest towards a certain sports/game should start at an early age—later years in the elementary grades and/or at the start of high school level. A child should be able to have his/her interest to a game at the age of 8-10 years old and start training at the age of 12.

Our sports authorities should be able to concentrate developing or raising Olympians in games/sports that offer multiple medals like track and field, gymnastics, cycling, swimming, shooting, boxing, wrestling, archery, taekwando, and diving. On the other hand, we have to concentrate also on sports where height and body structure are not considered as primary factors in order to win like, trampoline, table tennis, badminton, weightlifting (lighter weight categories), judo (lighter weight categories), soccer, handball, triathlon, archery, and softball.

Anyway, to give my readers a more comprehensive view on this topic, please read this!

Lastly, for my “honest-to-goodness” prediction for our quest of that elusive gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, our Filipino Olympic Team will not bring home any gold medal this time! I am sorry to say this in this blog as I predict that our first gold medal will be forthcoming by 2028 Olympic Games (yes, that is 20 years from now provided our sports authorities and sports associations will be “all-out” supportive and transparent in their support/funding to our elite athletes and soon-to-be Olympians).

Did I hurt someboby’s feeling? Well, reality bites!

We’ll have to find out what our sports officials will say to the media and public why we were not able to win a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Oooppss, it’s time to continue my P90X Program….Happy running and Always stay fit & healthy!

6 thoughts on “The High Price Of Raising An Olympian

  1. Hi BR – when I was younger, competing in sports was a personal thing. I compete to do my best and win for the pure glory of being the best in what I do. Sadly, many athletes today compete for the money — rather than for the personal achievement and pride for the country. It has always been my dream to stand on the medal stand and listen to the National Anthem of the Philippines. I believe that each athlete should have this goal and what the NSOs and POC should do is provide the venue, competition, coaches, technology and support to help the athlete do his job. Unfortunately, sports is big business — that’s why there has never been a public accounting of all the money that is raised for sports. Sad.

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  2. hi BR,

    we share the same sentiment when it comes to the commitment of the private and government folks in athletes development. it is really sad that the piont of the great Mr Pierre de Coubertin’s on one’s paticipation in the games is quite misconstrude in this part of the world. i can say that because its only now that i can hear the private sector that they care about sport specially olympics when 4 years ago i can hear no private firms of firm commitment. it seems to me that thier taking advantage of the olympic mania for sake of tv ads. i dont want to be critical to this people but if they can give 1 million fo each olympics gold then it is not impossible for them to hand 15 million for athlets development. btw just want to post the famous qoute of Mr de Coubertin on olympic participation:

    L’important n’est pas de gagner, mais de participer.

    The important thing is not to win, but to take part.

    with just 15 to take part it’s sad to say that perhaps we disagree..

    olvis

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  3. BR, if the U.S. only had a population of 90 million and only 15 athletes went to Beijing, I would be knocking on the USOC’s door and asking them “why are you providing one million for an Olympic gold?” I agree with Olvis’ assessment of that and the quote.

    I’m thankful that I can respond to people like you and Coach Rio who want to promote running in the Philippines. There is a lot of work to do. Hopefully, it won’t be 2028 but sooner before a gold medal is awarded.

    BTW BR, I’ve been approached in helping an elementary school close to where I live in Track And Field. We’re talking 4th, 5th and 6th graders. If I can get my work schedule changed, I’ll start coaching in September. The school has never had a program.

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  4. johnny, i can not recall if i was exposed to games/sports when i was in the elementary and high school and i can say that our schools did not have any sports instruction and PE was devoted in cleaning the school grounds and the school room. it was only when i was in college and in PMA when i was introduced to sports but it was too late to excel already at this stage in one’s life. there are only two things which will make our country excel in sports—political will and funding.

    olvis, it is true! everybody is dipping their fingers in our quest to the elusive medal for their personal interests which is good PR and exposure but when you ask these people for help in the development/training stage of our athletes, they will just snub you. i know this because i’ve experienced this kind of situation. i agree that the most important thing in the olympics is to participate but in every olympian’s mind the competitive spirit and ultimate goal is to win.

    wayne, thanks. you are giving me a good idea on what to do once i get back to the philippines. i’ll be visiting my elementary and high school authorities and ask them permission for me to conduct seminars on sports to their students and maybe volunteer my services as their coach for free!

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  5. BR, In high school I was once tapped to swim for the city in one of those Palaro events. A day before the actual race, I was given a form to sign with the other swimmers from the different schools in the city. The form said that I had received the stipend P300 for the event (the competition would go on for 2 days). We never saw this money that the teacher instructed us to sign for. I did not really expect or need this amount. But there were others with me who could have used the stipend… To get them to the event, perhaps to even buy them a decent breakfast before competition.
    Achieving our olympic dreams does require a huge investment … not all of it so easily convertible to cash…
    You are right. Our athletes must be given access to training at an early age. Catch them young and hopefully give them a good coach/mentor who can inspire them and mold them and motivate them to meet their true potential. And yet another extra task would be to for this mentor to watch out for them. Providing for their most basic of needs is indeed the first in that long list of actions that we will need to take so we can watch our athletes soar.

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  6. The idea of Wayne, is eye opening to me. A simple idea yet powerful to create a future olympian. Perhaps, i should do something about this.

    Last May this year, i went to brgy. Napoles, Bago City – Negros Occidental. The trip was sort of a mission trip to this village. One of the project was to give scholarship to the students of B. Aranetha Elementary School. Few weeks ago, i received a letter from the principal, describing where the money goes. On the list given, there are two students received scholarship for their activity in athletic.

    I was amazed to see this. When i go back to this village, i will ask more about this two students.

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