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Guv to issue guidelines on flag ceremony attendance

ILOILO provincial government employees will soon learn who are exempt from the flag-raising ceremony at the capitol grounds every Monday. Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. announced on Monday that he would come up with an executive order that will identify those who are obliged and who are exempted from attending the ceremony. The order will […] The post Guv to issue guidelines on flag ceremony attendance appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource: thedailyguardian thedailyguardianJun 12th, 2018

Talk about political football: No Eagles at the White House

By Jill Colvin and Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking on the NFL and football's Super Bowl champs, President Donald Trump gave the boot to a White House ceremony for the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday and instead threw his own brief "Celebration of America" after it became clear most players weren't going to show up. Both sides traded hot accusations about who was to blame. Trump tried to turn the fracas into a referendum on patriotism and tie it to the dispute over players who have taken a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality. However, Eagles players never knelt during the "Star-Spangled Banner," throughout the 2017 season and their march to the Super Bowl. The White House accused Eagles team members of pulling a "political stunt" and abandoning their fans by backing out at the last minute. Indeed, few apparently were going to come, though some expressed disappointment that they'd been disinvited and complained Trump was unfairly painting them as anti-American. Through it all, Trump appeared to revel in fanning the flames of a culture war that he believes revs up his political base. Trump had long been leery of the Eagles' planned visit to the White House, in part because the team's owner, Jeffrey Lurie, has been a Trump critic, and because several players have been vocal critics of the league's new policy that requires players to stand if they're on the field during the national anthem or else stay in the locker room. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the team notified the White House last Thursday that 81 people, including players, coaches, managers and others would be attending the Super Bowl celebration. But she said the team got back in touch late Friday and tried to reschedule, "citing the fact that many players would not be in attendance." The Eagles proposed a time when Trump would be overseas. Eagles officials declined comment on the White House version of events, sticking with a simple earlier statement: "We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season." No one connected with the team said the players' reluctance to attend had anything to do with the national anthem, as Trump tried to portray the situation. And comments by star players in the current pro basketball finals indicated it's not about football. "I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. So it won't be Golden State or Cleveland going," said LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. There was no disagreement from Stephen Curry, who angered Trump last year when he said he wouldn't go to the White House after the Warriors' NBA triumph, leading the president to disinvite him and his team. Trump, furious about the small number of Eagles who were coming, scrapped Tuesday's visit, believing a low turnout would reflect poorly upon him. He had told aides last year he was embarrassed when Tom Brady, star quarterback of that season's champion New England Patriots, opted to skip a White House visit. Instead, the president held what he dubbed a "patriotic celebration" that was short and spare. A military band and chorus delivered the Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America, with brief Trump remarks sandwiched in between. "We love our country, we respect our flag and we always proudly stand for the national anthem," Trump said. The White House crowd of roughly 1,000, mostly dressed in business suits, was light on Pennsylvanians and heavy on administration and GOP Party officials. Several in attendance blamed the players, not the president, for torpedoing the Eagles event. John Killion, a lifelong Eagles fan who now lives in Florida and traveled to Washington to see his team, said he was "devastated and infuriated" by a breakdown he blamed on the Eagles owners. "I waited my whole life for the Eagles to win the Super Bowl and they were going to be congratulated at the White House. And I don't really care who you like or dislike, it shouldn't be about that," he said. Bill Fey, a Republican state committeeman from southern New Jersey and an Eagles fan, called the decision "a black eye as far as I'm concerned with the NFL. I think that everyone should come to the White House. This is the peoples' house." Still, he said, "I think the Eagles did what they thought was necessary. I don't blame anyone." Trump's own patriotic event was not without its controversy. Following the playing of the anthem, a heckler shouted from the audience: "Stop hiding behind the armed services and the national anthem!" prompting boos. A Swedish reporter posted video of a man kneeling as the anthem was played. In a statement Monday, Trump placed the blame on Eagles players he said "disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country." Besides the fact that none of the Eagles had taken a knee during the anthem in 2017, defensive end Chris Long said the NFL anthem policy change and Trump's reaction to it were not even discussed by the players in meetings about making the visit. Those deciding to stay away had various reasons beyond Trump's opposition to the protests, including more general feelings of hostility toward the president, one official said. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who had planned to skip the ceremony "to avoid being used as any kind of pawn," said in a statement that at the White House a "decision was made to lie, and paint the picture that these players are anti-America, anti-flag and anti-military." Trump has long railed against the protests that began in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began silently kneeling on the sidelines during the anthem to raise awareness around racism and, specifically, the killing of black men by police. At a rally last September, Trump suggested NFL owners fire "son of a bitch" players who "disrespect" the flag by kneeling. As for politics, Trump believes the anthem controversy is a winning issue for him and was pleased that last month's announcement of the league's new policy returned it to the news, according to people familiar with the president's thinking but not authorized to discuss private conversations. Even so, Trump made clear Tuesday he doesn't believe the policy goes far enough, tweeting: "Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!" The president told one confidant Monday that he aims to revive the issue in the months leading up to the midterm elections, believing its return to the headlines will help Republicans win votes. Trump's attempt to drive a wedge between the team and its fervent fan base could have political consequences in Pennsylvania, which Trump won by just 44,000 votes in 2016. The politics are already playing out in the state's Senate race, where Republican Rep. Lou Barletta is challenging Democratic incumbent Bob Casey. Barletta attended the White House ceremony sans Eagles, "representing the proud Pennsylvanians who stand for our flag." Casey tweeted he would be "skipping this political stunt at the White House" and invited the Eagles on a tour of the Capitol instead. ___ Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Catherine Lucey in Washington, Errin Haines Whack in Philadelphia and Associated Press Pro Football writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 6th, 2018

Undeterred by skeptical fans, Thomas takes Tour title

By Andrew Dampf and Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — The spits and the jeers. The eggs thrown at team cars. The attempts to unbalance riders while riding up the most grueling climbs. Geraint Thomas never flinched at whatever fans — or his rivals — threw at him or Team Sky. The Welsh rider was the steadiest rider from the start, the strongest in the Alps and the Pyrenees. On Sunday he concluded his transformation from a support rider into a champion of cycling's biggest race by claiming his first Tour de France title. "With the boys, that's the main thing for the whole three weeks, we stuck together through some tough times, stayed strong," Thomas said. "Everything just clicked this race." Thomas successfully defended his lead of 1 minute, 51 seconds over second-placed Tom Dumoulin in the mostly ceremonial final stage. Four-time champion Chris Froome, Thomas's teammate, finished third, 2:24 behind. Froome rode next to Thomas as they crossed the line and applauded. Thomas was a support rider during Froome's four victories but he emerged as Sky's strongest rider in this race when Froome crashed early on and couldn't keep up in the mountains. Sky — and consequently Thomas — became a target for many fans due to an asthma drug case involving Froome, stemming from last year's Spanish Vuelta. Even though Froome was cleared of doping days before the start of the Tour, that didn't stop some fans from abusing the British team's riders throughout the three-week race. "When there is negativity like that, it brings us as a team closer together," Froome said. "It feels like it's us against the rest of the world. ... You can choose to let it get to you or you can choose to let it motivate you, and we let it motivate us." Thomas stormed into the lead by winning back-to-back mountain stages in the Alps, including the iconic climb up Alpe d'Huez, then defended his advantage in the Pyrenees. During the podium ceremony, Thomas draped the flag of Wales over his shoulders, then ended his victory speech with a mic drop. "All I can say is that I do it the right way," Thomas said when asked about concerns of alleged doping within Sky. "We train super hard and there's nothing I can say that will prove it. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing. It will stand the test of time." An all-around rider who began his career on the track, the 32-year-old Thomas helped Britain to gold medals in team pursuit at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics before turning his full attention to road racing. "I have my own goals and I kept doing what I'm doing and kept focused on that. ... Obviously it's not nice to hear (the jeers) but I do what I do and focus on myself," Thomas said. "It's easy to get wrapped up in or get angry or depressed but I stay in my own world." Riding a yellow bicycle to match his yellow jersey, Thomas shared glasses of champagne with his teammates during the casual ride into Paris before buckling down to keep up with the other leaders on the jarring cobblestones of the Champs-Elysees. "It's going to take a while to sink in," Thomas said. "Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around it. I had goose bumps going around there. The support from the Welsh, British flags. ... To ride around wearing this (yellow jersey) is a dream." Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff with UAE Team Emirates won the last stage in a sprint finish, narrowly beating John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare. "I've dreamed about this victory for many years," Kristoff said. "I've been close many times before but never managed to beat the faster guys like (Mark) Cavendish, (Andre) Greipel, or (Marcel) Kittel, but today they're not here, they're out after the mountains, and today I was the fastest, so I'm super happy." The mostly flat 116-kilometer (72-mile) leg began in Houilles just outside Paris and concluded with nine laps up and down the Champs-Elysees. Many spectators along the Champs-Elysees held their arms high to record the riders on their smart phones as they went past on the cobblestones, and there were more cheers when 11 jets flew overhead leaving trails in the blue, white and red colors of the French flag. Street vendors sold chicken, sausages, waffles, cake and sweets, while the smell of crepes filled the air. Glenn Roberts, from Newtown in mid-Wales, was in attendance with his wife and children. The family timed its summer vacation to coincide with the Tour's finish. "Thomas was in the yellow when we left Wales but we didn't know if he was going to keep it. We thought Froome was going to win it, if I'm being honest," Roberts said. "It's the best thing a Welshman has ever done in sport." ___ AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2018

Judges mobilized to urge Sereno to resign

The attempts to unseat Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno have spilled over to the lower courts, dragging judges into the political controversy, three court sources said on Sunday. The first source said the 1,200-strong Philippine Judges Association (PJA), composed of Regional Trial Court (RTC) judges, would issue a "manifesto" calling for Sereno's resignation during the flag-raising ceremony at the Supreme Court on Monday. The source said court employees, together with several justices who had forced Sereno to go on an indefinite leave starting March 1, were expected to wear red shirts and ribbons to symbolize their support for her ouster as Chief Justice, as they did last Mon...Keep on reading: Judges mobilized to urge Sereno to resign.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 11th, 2018

Bus drivers who disrespected the nation s flag get a slap on the wrist

SAN Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya demands a public apology from two bus drivers who allegedly sped off while she and other town officials were holding a flag ceremony last Monday. Reluya initially wanted to file charges against Arnel Maning and Eric Mayol of Britt Bus Liners for violating Republic Act 8491, or the Flag and… link: Bus drivers who 'disrespected the nation's flag' get a slap on the wrist.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

City government unveils two response teams

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo THE Iloilo City Government will soon deploy two quick response teams in the city to address various problems and concerns, especially in the wee hours of the day. During the flag ceremony on Sept 17, 2018, Mayor Jose Espinosa III unveiled two brand-new patrol vehicles for the response teams. Espinosa said […] The post City government unveils two response teams appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

2 rival mayors lead Panglao town rite

PANGLAO, Bohol -- Monday's flag raising ceremony in the municipality was attended by Pedro Fuertes and Leonila Montero, who both claimed to be mayors. Both gave their speeches before the employees. Montero told employees that her comeback was based on facts. "The fact is I am the duly reelected mayor of Panglao," she said. "I have already served my legal predicaments." On the other hand, Fuertes just told employees that he would wait for the DILG order. "I am just waiting for the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) for whatever decision," said Fuertes. The town was plunged into chaos when both Fuertes and Montero claimed to be the legitimate mayor...Keep on reading: 2 rival mayors lead Panglao town rite.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

Cagayan Gov, nagmura sa harap ng kapitolyo

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — “Kung magnanakaw ako magnanakaw tayong lahat!” Ito ang mga salitang binigkas ni Cagayan Provincial Governor Manuel Mamba sa harap ng mga empleyado ng Provincial Capitol noong ika-3 ng September, Lunes dito sa gitna ng flag ceremony......»»

Category: newsSource:  nordisRelated NewsSep 9th, 2018

Curry to grace star-studded UAAP Season 81 opening

Filipino basketball fans’ wish has been granted as two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry will make an appearance at the opening ceremony of the star-studded UAAP Season 81 on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Host school National University announced on Thursday night the attendance of the Golden State Warriors’ [...] The post Curry to grace star-studded UAAP Season 81 opening appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsSep 7th, 2018

LeBron James says in Kaepernick reference: I stand with Nike

By JOCELYN NOVECK, AP National Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Clutching his young daughter in his arms, LeBron James said he stands with Nike, a clear reference to the company's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign. The basketball superstar — and new Los Angeles Laker — made the remarks as he received an award Tuesday for both his style and his philanthropy from Harlem's Fashion Row. The fashion collective partnered with Nike for the New York event, both a fashion show and an awards ceremony that focused on diversity in the fashion world. The evening culminated in the reveal of the latest LeBron James Nike basketball shoe: a women's sneaker designed by three female African-American designers and inspired by strong African-American women. In emotional remarks, James paid tribute to the three women in his life — his mother, wife and 3-year-old daughter, Zhuri. He noted how his mother had raised him alone, and given him "a sense of pride, a sense of strength, a sense of no worry." "Because of you, Gloria James, I'm able to be in a position today where I can give back and showcase why I believe African-American women are the most powerful women in the world." The NBA star, who was wearing one of his favored shrunken-fit shorts suits by designer Thom Browne, called his daughter "my rock." "People always told me if you ever have a girl, she'll change you," said James, who also has two sons. "I was like, nobody's changing me, I'm a man." But she did, he said. "Not only did she change me, she's made me a better person," James said. "A more dedicated person, a stronger person, I guess a more sensitive person." Closing his remarks, he said he stood "for anybody who believes in change." He added: "I stand with Nike, all day, every day." Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, unveiled his first ad of the new campaign Monday. "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything," it said. The new endorsement deal has sparked vigorous debate, with some fans expressing displeasure over the apparel giant's support of a player known for starting a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues. Some angry fans were even burning and cutting out the signature swoosh logos on their gear — and posting the results on social media. But Kaepernick and his Nike campaign, which marks the 30th anniversary of Nike's "Just Do It," received plenty of support from the fashion world in attendance Tuesday. Bethann Hardison, an activist for diversity in fashion and a former supermodel who was also honored by Harlem's Row, said she was happy with Nike's move. "It's such a divided situation in our world right now," she said of the negative reaction by some fans. "But I'm such a huge, huge, wholehearted supporter of Colin that I'm very proud that someone understands what he's done and (is giving) him some kudos." Prominent African-American designer Tracy Reese said she loved the new Nike campaign. "It was tastefully done," she said. "And really, this is the time to stand up for what you believe in. Colin Kaepernick has done that and I think that we need to follow his example and really go where the heart leads, instead of where everybody expects you to go." Also honored at the ceremony were Harlem streetwear designer Dapper Dan and stylist Jason Rembert. A fashion show highlighted the work of designers Kimberly Goldson, Undra Duncan and Fe Noel, who together helped create the new shoe......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2018

LTFRB approves P2-per-minute TNVS charge

Transport Network Companies are also required to issue electronic receipts that "reflect the breakdown of the fare; flag-down rate, per kilometer rate, travel time and surge price.".....»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

Arroyo bares P35K special allowance for House employees

SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday bared a P35,000 special allowance this month to every House employee in appreciation of their hard work amid the economic challenges due to inflation. During yesterday’s monthly flag raising ceremony, Arroyo announced the good news to employees about the special allowance to be facilitated by Leyte… Source link link: Arroyo bares P35K special allowance for House employees.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

CJ reiterates Supreme Court independence

NEWLY appointed Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro yesterday appealed to the political branches of government not to interfere in the affairs of the judiciary and to accord respect to the decision of the Supreme Court, particularly on controversial issues. In her speech during her first flag-raising ceremony as chief magistrate,….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

Arroyo bares P35K special allowance for House employees

SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday bared a P35,000 special allowance this month to every House employee in appreciation of their hard work amid the economic challenges due to inflation. During yesterday’s monthly flag raising ceremony, Arroyo announced the good news to employees about the special allowance to be facilitated by Leyte….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

Two Koreas march together as Asian Games burst into life

North and South Korea marched together in a stirring display of unity as the Asian Games, one of the world's biggest sports events, opened in a blaze of colour in Jakarta on Saturday. South Korean women's basketball player Lim Yung-hui and North Korean footballer Ju Kyong-chol jointly held the Korean Unification flag aloft as they led the athletes out to an ovation from the packed crowd. It is the second such symbolic gesture this year by the two Koreas, who also walked together at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony -- an event that heralded an unprecedented warming of ties. The North and South, still technically at war, are joining forces in women's basketball, canoei...Keep on reading: Two Koreas march together as Asian Games burst into life.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 18th, 2018

Two Koreas march together at Asian Games opening ceremony

JAKARTA: North and South Korea marched together behind the Korean Unification flag at the Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday, in the latest demonstration of their rapprochement. South Korean women’s basketball player Lim Yung-hui carried the blue and white flag as the Korean athletes paraded into Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno stadium. It is the second… link: Two Koreas march together at Asian Games opening ceremony.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsAug 18th, 2018

Jordan Clarkson is Philippines’ flag-bearer in 2018 Asian Games

Jordan Clarkson went from not being allowed to represent the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games to being the country's flag-bearer. The Philippine Sports Commission on Wednesday announced that Clarkson will be front and center when the Philippine delegation marches during the opening ceremony on Saturday atGelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia. Clarkson, the Cleveland Cavaliers guard, was initially disallowed by the NBA to participate in the Asiad. The league, however, made a U-turn and gave Clarkson the thumbs up following an appeal made by Philippine sports officials. The NBA on Wednesday morning released a statement giving Clarkson and China's Zhou Qi of the Houston R...Keep on reading: Jordan Clarkson is Philippines’ flag-bearer in 2018 Asian Games.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 15th, 2018

Clarkson is flag-bearer for Team Philippines in the Asian Games

Jordan Clarkson will have himself quite a debut for Team Philippines. Aside from finally playing for Gilas Pilipinas, the Fil-Am combo guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers will serve as the country's flag-bearer for the 2018 Asian Games opening ceremony set for August 18 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The development was confirmed Chef de Mission Richard Gomez via Dyan Casillejo of ABS-CBN News. On Tuesday, Clarkson finally got full clearance to compete for Gilas in the Asian Games, two days after he was initially denied by the NBA. [Related: Clarkson gets NBA clearance to play in Asian Games] Clarkson is set to make his first game for Team Philippines on August 16 when Gilas Pilipinas takes on Kazakhstan in a virtual knockout game to start the Asiad.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2018, file photo, North Korea's Hwang Chung Gum and South Korea's Won Yun-jong carry the unification flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women's ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

BMX rider Caluag named PH’s flag bearer for Asian Games

The lone Filipino gold medalist in the previous Asian Games deserves a grand entrance in the coming continental sportsfest. Philippine chef de mission Richard Gomez confirmed that BMX rider Daniel Caluag, who salvaged Filipino pride in 2014 Incheon, has been designated flag-bearer of the Philippine delegation to the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. The London Olympian will head the contingent of 272 Filipino athletes and 63 officials from 35 sports during the opening ceremony on Aug. 18 at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta. That single gold medal that the United States-based Caluag had captured saved the Philippine campaign from a victory drought during the tailend...Keep on reading: BMX rider Caluag named PH’s flag bearer for Asian Games.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018