The ugly ducklings of sports
The line that separates athletes and models is becoming thinner and thinner.
These days, an athlete is defined as someone who has a face that sparkles like diamonds under the sun and a well chiseled body that only a Greek God could have.
Gone are the days when athletes use their muscular physique to compete in sports instead of showing them off in billboards along EDSA. These days, an athlete that is adored because of his talent and not because of his good looks can only be found in the fantasy world of Japanese cartoons.
Did it ever cross your mind that maybe; just maybe, these athletes have something more to give than their mouth-watering sex appeal and charisma? That the ugly ducklings of sports actually have given so much glory to their country but they are given very little attention?
Not all that glitters is gold, as the saying goes. An example of this was the recent performance of the football team Philippine Azkals. The brothers James and Phil Younghusband, with their lousy kicks, proved that they are better off to advertise facial cleansers and vinegars than be out there in the field.
The rugby team Philippine Volcanoes, on the other hand, has tremendous amounts of talent to conquer the world of rugby. However, because of their lack of popularity, have succumbed themselves to this culture of bollywood athletes.
Little do we know that there is more to sports than just charming and good looks. In the 26th SEA Games, several ugly ducklings from the Philippines and in other countries have brought gold and honor their country. These men and women, although they do n ot glitter with beauty, are still glorious because of tremendous talent that they have for the sports they play.
Examples of this were the wushu Baguio Warriorrk Ediva and Eduard Folayang. These Igorot cousins, although not very handsome, gave the country the golden glory by finishing the wushu competition as first place.
Eddiva, 25, outclassed Indon rival Youne Victorio Senduk for the men’s 65kg championship while Folayang, 27, was more impressive, knocking out Laotian foe Udon Khansay in the second round for the 70kg title.
Another ugly duckling that laid some golden eggs were the taekwondo jins John Paul Lizardo and Krista Elaine Alora who won six-gold medals in the competition.
A seasoned internationalist at 25, Lizardo prevailed over Thai Jerranat Nakaviro in the under 54 kg division while Alora made it a golden double when she downed Indonesian Eka Sahara in the women’s 73 kg class.
With the way our athletes lead such humiliating lives, it is no wonder that the Philippines didn’t reach their target number of gold medals.
We always pressure them to do their best, to grab the gold with everything that they got. But when they did not win, we get angry.
Who was it, that corrupted there funds for training? Who was it that has trained our athletes to publicize their crotches and not their abilities?
Was it not us?