THE country’s six para athletes are flying to Japan for the Tokyo Paralympic Games with extra motivation and boosted psyche.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez announced on Thursday that each of the para athletes, their coaches, and accompanying officials will be receiving P100,000 additional allowance, hiking to P150,000 their total allowance for the August 24 to September 5 Games.
At the same time, Ramirez asked Chef de Mission Francis Diaz to encourage his colleagues at the University of the Philippines to prepare the athletes mentally and psychologically, stressing this aspect was a proven formula for the success in the recent Tokyo Olympics.
Ramirez also told the para athletes to “enjoy your game” while in Tokyo. “Kung nag-e-enjoy ka, mas maganda ang pulso mo,” Ramirez told the PSC’s online People Sports Conversations which was attended by the para athletes, Diaz, and their coaches.
Wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan (para athletics) was designated to carry the country’s colors in the opening ceremony while Ernie Gawilan (swimming) will have the same responsibility in the closing ceremony.
Also on the team are discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda, swimmer Gary Bejino, taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin and powerlifter Achelle Guion.
Ramirez said that the PSC board of commissioners did not hesitate to approve the additional allowances for the para athletes.
“The PSC also added travel allowances to our athletes in the Olympics because of the high cost of living in Japan,” explained Ramirez, who witnessed Filipino athletes compete—highlighted by the country’s first golden Olympic victory—in the Olympics with his Chief of Staff Marc Velasco.
The para athletes thanked Ramirez and the commissioners, saying they are “happily overwhelmed with the love and care the sports agency has been giving them.”
They also vowed to bring their best game, enjoy the experience and continue to aim for a podium finish.