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Newly-elected Athletes Commission officers promise louder voice for athletes

The newly-elected members of the POC Athletes Commission have guaranteed their fellow athletes of a bigger voice and a shoulder to cry on for the next four years. “We will be the bridge between the athletes and the Philippine Olympic Committee,” said swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna, who represented the country in the 2016 Rio Olympics. “We are here to provide the link,” said Lacuna during Tuesday's PSA Forum at the Amelie Hotel Manila. Lacuna and four others were elected to the commission last Saturday, including Francesca Altamonte of softball, Nikko Huelgas of triathlon, Jake Letts of rugby and Samuel Morrison of taekwondo. Lacuna told the forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel Manila and the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) that since the commission is required to have at least two Olympians (one male, one female), Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting may be accommodated as the fifth member in place of Morrison. Lacuna has indicated his availability to serve the commission full time after announcing his retirement from competitive swimming. As chairman of the commission, he can attend the POC general assembly with voting power. Again, the 26-year-old swimmer assured his fellow athletes that the commission is going to do its best to address any of their grievances. “What the athletes need we will help address. This is very important,” said Lacuna......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 14th, 2020

Picson, Lacuna to grace Forum

The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines and one of the five newly-elected members of the 2nd Philippine Olympic Committee athletes’ commission make up Tuesday’s lively discussion in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel Manila......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 13th, 2020

PSC OIC Fernandez, national boxers undergo COVID-19 swab tests

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner and newly appointed Officer-In-Charge Ramon Fernandez led the coronavirus (COVID-19) swab testing on Thursday at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City. Fernandez was accompanied by his wife Karla Kintanar-Fernandez and is expected to complete the 14-day quarantine while doing his OIC functions until July 17. “We will comply with the standard procedures to ensure that we are helping in curbing the spread of the virus,” shared Fernandez. Aside from Fernandez, national boxers from Baguio City, including 2021 Tokyo Olympics qualifier Irish Magno and 2019 AIBA Women’s World Champion Nesthy Petecio with 10 more boxers - six males and four females - and one coach, also went through swab testing. Athletes residing in Philsports from boxing and fencing, and para-athletes from athletics, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, table tennis, and chess also underwent swab tests.  The boxers who are coming off a training camp in Baguio City are on a 14-day quarantine and are under observation until their test results are out. They will be provided with food, shelter, and necessary assistance from the PSC staff. “Hindi muna sila pinalalabas ng assigned rooms nila. Until lumabas swab test results nila, hinahatiran sila food,” shared Philsports Dormitory manager Roselle Destura. “Kung may ipapabili, ipapa-withdraw, at ipapadala sa pamilya, pinapaiwan namin sila ng note sa harap ng room nila and then kami na gagawa for them,” she added. The PSC will also assist the athletes in securing their travel passes going back to their hometowns once their results turn out clear and flights become available......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2020

PSC vows full support to Team PHI all the way to Tokyo Olympics

Aspiring and Olympic-bound athletes will continue to receive support from the Philippine Sports Commission despite the agency’s belt-tightening measures brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Philippines already has four qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which has been pushed back to next year, in pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, male artistic gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo, national boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno before the lockdown. The PSC board has assured that the agency will support them for as long as they can, explaining that the investment of both the government and the athletes into their Olympic dream cannot be set aside just that easily. This the PSC assures the athletes despite around P1.3 billion of its funds redirected back to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fund the country’s COVID-19 fight. By virtue of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, P596 million, and P773 million were realigned by the DBM from the sports agency’s National Sports Development Fund and the fund from the General Appropriations Act (GAA), respectively. Even with this unexpected development, the PSC will keep true to its promise to support the Filipino athletes Olympic bid. In fact, PSC Chairman William Ramirez is hoping to send more athletes to represent the country in the prestigious multi-sport event. “We will not waiver in our quest to fulfill the country’s Olympic dream and we are very hopeful that more athletes will be able to qualify once the situation gets better,” shared Ramirez. The sports agency is banking its hopes on 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, four-time SEA Games champion Kiyomi Watanabe of judo, 2019 SEAG double-gold medal winner Margielyn Didal of skateboarding, multi-titled jin Pauline Lopez of taekwondo, and Junna Tsukii of karatedo among others. The budget cut has forced the sports agency to take belt-tightening measures in recent weeks, to be able to cover all commitments. “It’s a tough situation but we understand the priorities of the national government. We will do what we can to continue the support we give to our athletes especially those vying for an Olympic slot,” added Ramirez. Aside from financial support, the PSC also continues to provide online sports psychology consultations, virtual training sessions, nutrition, physiology, and conditioning webinars to athletes and coaches through PSC’s Medical Scientific Athletic Services (MSAS) and the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2020

Nat’l athletes, coaches get 20% discount on goods, services

National athletes and coaches can now avail of 20 percent discount on goods and services. The Philippine Sports Commission in a board meeting on Friday announced that the 20 percent discount for athletes and coaches, a provision in RA 10699, will finally be implemented as BIR issued Revenue Regulation 13-2020, dated May 27. “We have been looking forward to this and we are thankful that our athletes and coaches will finally enjoy the privilege they deserve,” said PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez. The PSC has been working on the implementation of this privilege for a long time and have made headway with the help of the BIR last year. Effectivity of the privilege will be 15 days after publication in the official gazette or any two nationally-circulated newspapers. National athletes and coaches will also receive booklets aside from identification cards in order for beneficiaries to avail the said discounts, much like the booklet and ID being issued to senior citizens.  PSC is now having the booklets prepared. Members of the national team have already been issued their IDs. Discounts shall be applied to food, medicine, recreation centers, hotels, and lodging establishments and sports equipment purchases. BUDGET CUT While the discount privilege is welcome news, the Board also tackled belt-tightening measures with much of the government’s finances diverted to address the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The board and senior officers of the agency decided to implement a 50% reduction on allowances of athletes and coaches starting June 1 (to be remitted in July). The decision came following the diminished finances from the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), from which the allowances are taken, because of the health crisis. The board said that this action was taken in order to sustain the granting of allowances until December 2020. “This is a hard decision to make, but one that needed to be done so we can continue caring for our athletes longer,” said Ramirez, who assured that the allowances will be restored to the present rate once the NSDF reaches a comfortable level. Last month the country’s sport department in order to cut back on expenses and reserve the remaining resources to continue its commitment to providing the allowances of athletes and coaches, discontinued contracts of sports coordinators, consultants, and JO staff......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 30th, 2020

When We Were Volleyball Queens (Part 2)

(This story was originally published back in March 24, 2015) Back in 1993 the Philippine national team defied the odds by toppling the region’s women’s volleyball giant Thailand. Rosemarie Prochina, part of the national team sent to the 17th Southeast Asian Games, continues with her story of the things that transpired during the last shining moment of our Filipina athletes in the sport.    Buy gold? No, we’ll win them   Prochina revealed that they had an extra motivation in the championship match against Thailand after an incident involving her teammate Bernadeth Burcelis. A Thai tried to get into their heads. A warning shot of psychological warfare, perhaps an attempt to bully the Filipinas out of their wits.      “Actually yung team manager nila kinantyawan kami nu’ng mag-shopping kami,” Prochina said. “Sinabihan niya si Burcelis, sabi niya “Oh you buy many, many golds now because tomorrow you will only get silver.” The Filipina didn’t talk back, she and the national team simply let their game do the talking.      “Yun ang sabi niya. So kami parang di naman din niya sinabi sa amin (kaagad), pero sa kanya (Burcelis) OK lang yun. Basta maglaro lang kami,” Prochina said. During the game, Prochina said that everybody was doing their part even those sitting on the bench. “Yun ang maganda sa team namin na kahit na kaming nasa bench, di ako first six kasi,” she admitted. “Kaming nasa bench kahit parang di kami makakalaro nandoon kami sa bench nagpi-pray, lahat todo support. Tapos kapag may timeout, magma-massage kami sa mga teammates namin.” Zenaida Ybanez also won the Best Spiker and Most Valuable Player award while Leonora Escolante was named Best Setter.  For Prochina their feat showed the never-say-die spirit of the Filipinas. “So yun very (inspiring) ang pagkapanalo dun kasi underdogs kami,” she said.    Coach Tai, the lover boy?  SEA Games is not just about athletes trying to outplay their opponents for a podium spot. The biennial meet is organized for the purpose of developing friendship and camaraderie among nations. And some tried to take this fellowship into another level. Prochina gave away a secret that involves a name that is very famous in the volleyball circle today. Ateneo de Manila coach Tai Bundit did capture the hearts of local fans with his charm and heart strong mantra proven by the Lady Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP crown but 22 years ago the Thai had an early encounter with the Filipinos – and we are not talking about how he and his team demolished the PHI men’s squad. It was about something romantic. “Yung coach nila (Ateneo) magkasabayan kami sa national team,” said Prochina, who’s an Ateneo fan herself. “Yung coach nila na si Tai nagpang-abot kami.” The Thai women’s team looked at the Filipinas with fire in their eyes, but not Bundit as he glowed with sparks of stars and moonshine while focused on a Pinay whose name gives happiness to his heart.   Yes, before Bundit danced his signature ‘kitiki-Tai’ moves, he tried to tango.            “Kami yang (magkakasabayan) noong nanliligaw-ligaw pa yan sa teammate ko, si Joy Degoroztisa,” Prochina said in a chuckle. “Ewan ko kung nagkasagutan sila, huh!” she continued. “Naku baka (mapagalitan ako ni Joy) kasi nanligaw siya (Bundit) dun. Si Joy nasa Kuwait na siya ngayon.” Asked for more juicy details, Prochina said that her memory is a bit sketchy about the whirlwind romance.   “Actually, di ko masyado (nasubaybayan na yung nangyari) kasi nga yung laro di ba ilang weeks lang yun tapos hindi ko na alam kung anong nangyari,” Prochina added. And she really has no idea if Bundit got one through the block or totally got shut down. Bundit is now happily married while Degoroztisa is based in Kuwait.   “Masakit para sa amin”  After the team brought home the mint, the Pinays failed to win it all in the next SEAG editions paving way for Thailand’s domination in the region.  The Thais got their revenge on their turf in 1995 against the Filipinas in the finals. Again winning another gold after two years at the expense of PHI, who had bronze finishes in 2001, 2003 and in 2005 edition held in Manila.  Sadly, in the next four SEA Games no women’s team were fielded and the Pinays were overtaken by in terms of competitiveness by Vietnam and Indonesia.     “Masakit para sa amin kasi hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin na-break,” a regretful Prochina said. “Nag-20 years na hindi pa rin na-break yung record, nag-post ako sa FB sabi ko “Happy 20th year sa pagka-gold naming”, ganyan, pero napakasakit kasi wala pang pumalit,” she added. “Hindi ka-proud na kayo lang kasi siyempre parang anong nangyari sa programa ng volleyball sa Pilipinas?” A degradation of the sport she painfully watched. “Yung 1995 malakas pa rin yun kahit nawala na yung iba,” she said. “Maraming mga matatangkad gaya nina Cherry Rivera Macatangay, Roxanne Pimentel, si Joy Degoroztisa, Estrella Tan Enriquez na nag-convert na lang sa basketball kasi nawala na nga yung (volleyball program).”   New beginning  The dream of standing taller than Thailand may still be years away, but Prochina is happy that there is a rebirth of volleyball in the country. With the sport having an avenue outside of collegiate leagues with the Shakey’s V-League and Philippine Superliga and the interest of the nation to volleyball taking its roots again, the future looks bright. “Yung volleyball sa atin paangat na talaga saka sobrang happy kaming mga older players na nakikitang ganoon na ang progress ng volleyball sa Pilipinas,” she said. It’s a fact that we are not at par in skills and development wise with the Thais – a solid proof of it is having their players fielded as imports to raise the level of competition in our local leagues – but Prochina is glad that we are now taking small steps.      “Kasi lumayo na ang Thailand e, lumayo ng milya-milya and nawala tayo. Pero kaya yang (mahabol) wala namang imposible,” she said. “Pero mas malalaki nga tayo actually. Ang players natin may 6-foot-5, may mga ganoon. Yung mga players natin malalaki. “Sa atin lang siguro yung continuity ng training, at ng support.” Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. as part of their volleyball program has formed an Under-23 men’s and women’s team that will compete in the Asian age group championships on May. After skipping volleyball events in four SEAG editions, the PHI will field both men’s and women’s teams for the meet in Singapore on June.            Promise of tomorrow          Prochina believes that PHI volleyball has a bright future and a repeat of their feat two decades ago is not far away.  “Of course. Malalaki and mas may advantage ang mga bata ngayon kasi sila yung skills at techniques nila meron na. Yung sa katawan, sa bilis, sa talon, meron,” she said. “Kami noon dinevelop pa. Ako personally dinevelop ako, kung hindi dahil sa coaches ko na sina coach Kid Santos and coach Emil Lontoc, na naniwala sa akin na gagaling ako at aabot ako sa level na ganoon, hindi ako tutuloy,” Prochina added. “Hindi katulad ngayon sobrang andami nating players na malalakas.” She is also overwhelmed by the fan base this generation of players built. “Marami talaga ngayon. Pero noong 2005 na naglaro kami ng V-League (for PSC (Lady Legends) nakakatawa lang noon na mayroong mga nagdadala (ng mga gamit) na mayroong mga signature naming na mga lumang players. Sinasabi nila na “Ay fan kami sa inyo.” Kami naman “Ay talaga, mayroon pala kaming mga fans,”” she said. “Mas malaki na (ang fanbase) kasi sa social media, alam na ng lahat ng tao ang nangyayari sa volleyball.”    Comparison Prochina picked Ateneo when asked if what team in her opinion mirrors the character of the 1993 team. “Kasi sila nag-start sila from scratch e. Tapos yung mga bata alam mong obedient sila sa nakikita mo sa laro. Hindi ko naman sinasabi na hindi obedient yun ibang teams ha,” she justified. “Pero kasi yung Ateneo galing talaga sila sa baba.” She also cited that long before Ateneo practiced meditation before and during games, they were already doing it as part of their routine. “Yes matagal na. Kasi nung nakita ko sila (Ateneo in meditation) sabi ko “Ah Ok. Kasi nag-coach din ako ng mga five years ago (in University of Asia and the Pacific) yun din ang itinuturo ko sa mga players na malaking bagay yung meditation,” she said. “Kasi sa SMAP (Sports Medicine Association of the Philippines) dati sa PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) sila ang nag-handle sa amin na nilagay kami sa isang room (for meditation),” Prochina added. “Tinantanong pa nga namin ang isa’t isa kung nakakatulong. Nakakatulong talaga siya tapos tinuruan nila kami na bago matulog, ayun, dapat may relaxation technique kami. Na dapat relaxed, alisin ang tension sa katawan tapos isipin mo na kinabukasan madali lang yung game. Yun talaga, malaking bagay siya." Just like Ateneo, they enjoyed every game. They are the original happy team. “Oo. Kasi yang si coach Emil Lontoc ang sinasabi niyan kapag maglalaro na kami “tiwala sa sarili at mag-enjoy sa game.” Yun yung sinasabi nila kapag magi-game kami. Kasi kung hindi ka naman magi-enjoy the game wala na, ano yun? E volleyball ito,” she said. And she agrees that Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez is the new face of volleyball in the country – the phenom that was yet to be born a few days after they bagged the SEAG gold.  “Of course, siya talaga. Kahit asawa ko idol siya. Humble yung bata, bilib ako sa bata,” Prochina explained. “Nakikita ko yung eagerness niya. ‘Yung kapag umatras siya na papatay siya ng bola, makikita mo talaga yung killer’s instinct niya. Kapag naglaro na 100% talaga siya.” For Prochina, Valdez is Barina-Rojas of her time -- a sign of hope.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

Para-athletes train at Philsports

​The Philippine Sports Commission opened the doors of its newly-refurbished Philsports Complex for national para-athletes training for the 2020 Asean Para Games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 17th, 2020

Huelgas, Olympian Lacuna elected to 2nd POC Athletes Commission

MANILA, Philippines – National triathlete Nikko Huelgas and Olympic swimmer Jessie Lacuna headlined the 5 members elected to the 2nd Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) athletes' commission on Saturday, January 11.  Huelgas, who served as the first athletes' commission chairman, and Lacuna are joined by former vice-chairman Cheska Altomonte, former Philippine ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 11th, 2020

The King reigns: LeBron James is AP’s male athlete of decade

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press He left Cleveland for Miami, finally became a champion, went back to his beloved northeast Ohio, delivered on another title promise, then left for the Los Angeles Lakers and the next challenge. He played in eight straight finals. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the last 10 years than he did. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart. “That’s all?” LeBron James asked, feigning disbelief. No, that’s not all. Those were just some highlights of the last 10 years. There were many more, as the man called “King” spent the last decade reigning over all others — with no signs of slowing down. James is The Associated Press male athlete of the decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, easily outpacing runner-up Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. “You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences,” James, who turns 35 Monday, told the AP. “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life.” Usain Bolt of Jamaica was third for dominating the sprints at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, soccer superstar Lionel Messi was fourth and Michael Phelps — the U.S. swimmer who retired as history’s most decorated Olympian with 28 medals, 23 gold — was fifth. James was revealed as the winner Sunday, one day after Serena Williams was announced as the AP’s female athlete of the decade. In his 17th season, he’s on pace to lead the league in assists for the first time while remaining among the NBA’s scoring leaders. “When LeBron James is involved,” Denver coach Michael Malone said, “I’m never surprised.” Including playoffs, no one in the NBA scored more points than James in the last 10 years. He started the decade 124th on the league’s all-time scoring list. He’s now about to pass Kobe Bryant for No. 3. No. 2 Karl Malone and No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are within reach. Is Abdul-Jabbar in his sights? Is catching him the new decade’s goal? “I would be lying if I said I don’t see it,” James said. “Obviously I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this’ ... I’m not doing that because I’ve never done that with my career. I’ve always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it.” His work ethic, even now, makes even those closest to him marvel. Here’s a typical day this past summer for James, who remains obsessed with working even though fame and fortune found him long ago: He’d wake up at 3 a.m. and be at the Warner Bros. lot by 3:45 — where a weight room and court, built just for him, were waiting. He’d be lifting by 4 a.m., getting shots up by 5:30 and be ready to start another day of shooting the remake of “Space Jam” that he has been planning for years by 7 a.m. “That’s who he is,” said Mike Mancias, one of the longest-tenured and most trusted members of James’ inner circle, tasked for more than 15 years with keeping James fit. “He does whatever it takes when it comes to fulfilling his commitments to everything — especially his game and his craft.” The 2010s for James started with “The Decision,” the widely criticized televised announcement of his choice to leave Cleveland for Miami. (Lost in the hubbub: The show raised more than $2.5 million for charity.) He was with the Heat for four years, went to the NBA Finals all four times with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, finally won the title in 2012 — “it’s about damn time,” he said at the trophy celebration — and led the way in a Game 7 win over San Antonio to go back-to-back the following year. “He grew immensely here as a leader,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He impacted winning as much as with his leadership as he did with his talent. I think that was the most important thing he learned with us. And he’s been able to take that to different franchises and continue using that as a template.” Cleveland was devastated when he left. It forgave him. James returned home in 2014, took Cleveland to four consecutive finals, then led the Cavaliers to the 2016 title and came up with one of the biggest plays of his life by pulling off a chase-down block of Golden State’s Andre Iguodala in the final seconds of Game 7 of that series. And in 2018, he was off to LA. Going Hollywood made so much sense — he’s making movies, has a production company, has a program called “The Shop” as part of his ‘Uninterrupted’ platform featuring an array of guests from Drake to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed a bill on the show that will allow college athletes to get paid for the use of their likeness and sign endorsement deals. “There’s a lot of moments from this decade that would be up there, winning the two Miami championships, winning a championship in Cleveland, the chase-down block,” James said. “But the best moment? Definitely marrying Savannah. That would be No. 1.” James and longtime partner Savannah Brinson got married six years ago. They already had two sons — both are very good basketball players already — and added a daughter in 2014. James also spent most of the last decade as a lightning rod for critics. He used his voice often on social matters, speaking out after the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He supported Colin Kaepernick’s methods of protesting police brutality and racial injustice. Most recently, he was criticized by many — including top U.S. lawmakers — for his remarks after Houston general manager Daryl Morey sparked a massive rift between the NBA and China by sending out a tweet supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “I don’t live in regret,” James said. “There’s no moment in this last decade that I wish I could have back. If a situation was bad or you feel like you could have done better, then I learned from it.” He doesn’t know how much longer he’ll play. He laments missing time with his children. His “I Promise” school that opened in 2018 in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, has been an immediate success story, and he wants to see that enterprise continue growing. Some love him. Some don’t. He doesn’t mind. “When you believe in your calling or you believe in yourself, then it doesn’t matter what other people say or how other people feel,” James said. “And if you allow that to stop you or deter you from your mission, then you don’t get anywhere.” And in the 2010s, nothing deterred James......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

Simone Soars: Biles named 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year

By Will Graves, Associated Press They’re called “Simone Things,” a catchall phrase for the casual ease with which Simone Biles seems to soar through her sport and her life. The irony, of course, is that there’s nothing casual or easy about it. Any of it. The greatest gymnast of all time and 2019 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year only makes it seem that way. Those jaw-dropping routines that are rewriting her sport's code of points and redefining what can be done on the competition floor? Born from a mix of natural talent, hard work and a splash of ego. The 25 world championship medals, the most by any gymnast ever? The result of a promise the 22-year-old made to herself when she returned to competition in 2017 after taking time off following her golden run at the 2016 Olympics. The stoicism and grace she has shown in becoming an advocate for survivors — herself included — and an agent for change in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal that’s shaken USA Gymnastics to its core? The byproduct of a conscious decision to embrace the immense clout she carries. “I realize now with the platform I have it will be powerful if I speak up and speak for what I believe in,” Biles told The Associated Press. “It’s an honor to speak for those that are less fortunate. So if I can be a voice for them in a positive manner, then of course I’m going to do whatever I can.” And it's that mission — combined with her otherworldly skill and boundless charisma — that's enabled Biles to keep gymnastics in the spotlight, a rarity for a sport that typically retreats into the background once the Olympic flame goes out. She is the first gymnast to be named AP Female Athlete of the Year twice and the first to do it in a non-Olympic year. Biles edged U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe in a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers. Skiing star Mikaela Schiffrin placed third, with WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne fourth. Biles captured the award in 2016 following a showstopping performance at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she won five medals in all, four of them gold. She spent most of the following 12 months taking a break before returning to the gym in the fall of 2017, saying she owed it to herself to mine the depth of her talent. Check social media following one of her routines and you’ll find people -- from LeBron James to Michelle Obama to Chrissy Teigen -- struggling to distill what they’ve witnessed into 280 characters or fewer, with whatever they settle on typically followed by multiple exclamation points and a goat emoji, a nod to Biles being considered the Greatest Of All Time. Her triple-twisting double-flip (the “triple double”) at the end of her first tumbling pass on floor exercise is a wondrous blur. Her double-twisting double-flip beam dismount (the “double double”) is so tough the International Gymnastics Federation made the unusual decision to downplay its value in an effort to deter other gymnasts from even trying it. This is both the blessing and the curse of making the nearly impossible look tantalizingly attainable. When Biles learned about the FIG's decision, she vented on Twitter, her palpable frustration highlighting the realness she's maintained even as her first name has become synonymous with her sport's royalty. It can lead to a bit of a balancing act. In some ways, she's still the kid from Texas who just wants to hang out with her boyfriend and her dog and go to the grocery story without being bothered. In other ways, she's trying to be respectful of the world she's built. Take the GOAT thing. It’s a title she embraces — Biles wore a goat-themed leotard during training at the national championships in August — but also takes with a grain of salt, determined to stay grounded even as the hype around her grows. Yes, GOAT happens to be the acronym for her planned post-Olympic “Gold Over America Tour,” but ask her where the inspiration came from and she laughs and gives credit to a friend, Kevin, who came up with it in a group chat. It is both paying tribute to and winking at her status at the same time. Biles has become well aware over the last three years that her every word and action carries far greater weight than she ever imagined. Her most impactful moment of 2019 might not have come during a meet but sitting for an interview on the eve of winning her record sixth national title, when she fought back tears while talking about how USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the FBI failed to protect athletes during an investigation into Nassar's abusive behavior. The moment went viral, as most things surrounding her tend to do these days. “I’m starting to realize it’s not just the gymternet anymore,” Biles said, using the term for her sport's dedicated fans. "It’s an overall thing. It’s weird to get that kind of attention, but at the end of the day, I feel gymnastics has been overlooked in non-Olympic years. Yeah, it puts pressure on me. But I’m not trying to think about all the attention from the outside world.” The attention figures to only grow in the run-up to Tokyo, where she will attempt to become the first female gymnast in more than half a century to repeat as Olympic champion. Her smiling face serves as the exclamation point at the end of every television promo for the Summer Games. Let it be known: The smile is real. That might not have always been the case, but is is now. Heading into the final months of a singular career, she is trying to revel in the journey while anxiously awaiting what's next. Add it to the list of Simone Things. “I feel like this is the beginning of my life and I don’t want gymnastics to be my whole entire life,” she said. “I’m definitely going to soak in the moment and enjoy it so 10 years from now I can look back and say ‘I had the time of my life out there’ ... rather than ‘I was good, but I was miserable.’”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

PSC personnel, national athletes test negative for COVID-19

All 200 Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) personnel including some national athletes and coaches tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19). The PSC announced the good news following the release of the swab-test results on Wednesday. “We are thankful to the Lord that the PSC community is free from COVID-19. We hope and pray it stays that way,” said PSC Overall-in-Charge Ramon Fernandez who also underwent Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test or swab testing. The PSC conducted RT-PCR tests for PSC staff, along with some members of the national team numbering 112 persons at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila and 88 at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City.  The test was conducted in three batches. “We are proud to say that both PSC complexes, which is under a high-risk area since we have venues housing COVID-19 patients, can be declared COVID-19 free. We conducted the test to give the confidence back to the regular workforce, occupants, athletes, and coaches who frequently go to PhilSports and RMSC.” said Dr. Randolph Molo, Head of PSC Medical Scientific Athletes Services (PSC-MSAS) Unit. “We opted for the RT-PCR/swab test over any form of rapid testing since this test is more reliable and reflective on one's COVID-19 status. As of Wednesday, July 8, we can declare that all of the 200 persons who underwent testing are all clear/negative from the Coronavirus. This should help restore the confidence and ease the fears of our staff as we continue to keep PSC COVID-19 free.” added Dr. Molo. After RT-PCR testing, the PSC has also put in place additional security measures by requiring all staff working on-site to submit a Health Declaration Form which was made accessible by QR code or the PSC website. This is screened by the MSAS unit which will grant them a gate pass via SMS once they get cleared. The sports agency hopes this practice will help them keep PSC premises COVID-19 free. The PSC is also strictly implementing health security protocols advised by the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in all of its facilities......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2020

PSC, POC to seek IATF ok for Olympic hopefuls

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, they will now move to seek the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for national athletes—especially Olympic hopefuls—to return to training. POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said the local Olympic […] The post PSC, POC to seek IATF ok for Olympic hopefuls appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 9th, 2020

IATF nod on Olympic bets sought

The Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee will seek the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the resumption of training of Tokyo-bound athletes and other Olympic hopefuls......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 8th, 2020

Number of PH athletes eyeing Tokyo games finalized soon

The exact number of athletes shooting for Tokyo Olympic berths will be resolved by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee soon......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 8th, 2020

POC, PSC seek IATF OK for resumption of training

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA       The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) are seeking the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for the resumption of training of Olympic-bound athletes and a number of hopefuls. The decision came after the PSC Board met with POC President […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJul 8th, 2020

POC, PSC officials deal with Tokyo bid

Top officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission will go into online discussion tomorrow to tackle the resumption of training for Tokyo-bound athletes and other Olympic hopefuls......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 7th, 2020

Sports officials to tackle training resumption of Tokyo Olympic bets

Top officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission will go into online discussion Wednesday to facilitate the resumption of training of Tokyo-bound athletes and other Olympic hopefuls......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 6th, 2020

Training soon to resume for Philippine Olympic hopefuls

Philippine Sports Commission officer-in-charge and commissioner Ramon Fernandez on Saturday said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) had already given national athletes who already made the Olympic cut and with chances to qualify the green light to resume training in areas like the General Community Quarantine (GCQ)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 4th, 2020

Pro basketball, football clearance raises hope for volleyball

Commercial volleyball league stakeholders have high hopes that their activities will also resume soon following the government’s clearance for professional basketball and football leagues to start training. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing on Friday announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases gave the green light for the resumption of training for PBA and the Philippine Football League teams. The Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusement Board and the Department of Health drafted the guidelines for the resumption of training. Roque made no mention of volleyball in the announcement. The country’s second most popular sport next to basketball has no professional league. The Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga are both categorized as amateur or semi-professional along with the collegiate leagues including the UAAP and NCAA. “We’re preparing a request. Ang sinasabi kasi nila ay professional sports muna and sa amateurs parang wala pa eh but we’re working on it,” PVL organizer Sports Vision president Ricky Palou told ABS-CBN Sports. PSL president Dr. Ian Laurel expressed optimism that volleyball will follow suit. “Ang expectation natin ay susunod na tayo,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction or signal that sports are being discussed in the IATF.” “That’s already a step in the right direction for us. Hindi naman mahalaga kung sino ang unang papayagan eh. Ang importante yung konsepto na yung sports eh kino-consider at napag-uusapan. Pero susunod na yan very optimistic ako,” added Laurel. While PBA and the PFL sought help from GAB, commercial leagues course their IATF request through the PSC.   “Kami ang PSC ang kailangan naming lapitan. Kapag amateur kasi PSC. What will happen is PSC will endorse it to IATF. Bahala na ang IATF kung papayag sila o hindi,” Palou said. In a separate request to the IATF last month, national sports association leaders from athletics, basketball, volleyball, football, rugby, gymnastics and karate crafted a one-month trial program for athletes to resume training under a strict health and safety protocol. The IATF has yet to decide on their requests aside from the clearance they gave to the PBA and the PFL. “We don’t know what they’re thinking on amateur sports eh kasi right now ang pinayagan lang ‘yung football and basketball professional league lang. Eh kami di naman kami pro, we’re amateurs so we’re going to PSC,” Palou said. PSL halted its ongoing Grand Prix last March at the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while the PVL’s fourth season was supposed to begin last May but was pushed back because of the health crisis. Both leagues hope to resume activities once volleyball gets the go-signal from the IATF.   “We’re hoping [na mapayagan na rin ang volleyball]. They’ve already allowed football and basketball siguro naman there’s no reason why [volleyball should not be allowed to resume] as long we comply with what they want and we comply with their protocols. I don’t see why [volleyball] shouldn’t be allowed,” said Palou.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2020

Sports officials want athlete exemptions for Olympic training purposes

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Philippine Sports Commission officer-in-charge and commissioner Ramon Fernandez are both pushing for exemptions so as to jumpstart preparations this early for athletes who have already qualified and those with chances of making it to the quadrennial games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2020

ONE champ Joshua Pacio making sound investments during pandemic

Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is making good use of his time while he awaits his next defense of his ONE Strawweight World Title. The 24-year-old from Baguio City has partnered up with FlexBox, an on-demand personal training service that provides custom workouts accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The reigning World Champion from Team Lakay will function as a “Celebrity Trainer” and is slated to provide virtual training for fans and fitness enthusiasts alike. “This is good, it’s added income for us while we’re waiting for our next fight,” Pacio said.  “It’s also a good opportunity to interact with fans, help them stay fit and healthy to boost their immune system during the pandemic.” The young phenom from Team Lakay is set to do his online one-on-one and group classes during his rest days. Even at his age, “The Passion” knows the value of good financing. But make no mistake about it, he is not letting up on his training while waiting for a call from ONE Championship.  “I promise I’ll be ready to defend my belt anytime,” Pacio said.  “Even though I am already at the top, I know that there are many quality opponents out there waiting for me. I always have to find ways to improve.” In his most recent outing, Pacio defeated former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva by split decision in the main event of ONE: FIRE & FURY last January at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. He is the first mixed martial artist in the talented weight class to defeat all previous World Champions, gaining a reputation as one of the greatest athletes in ONE’s history. But Pacio is not letting up, nor is he allowing the praises to go to his head, as he works to improve all the weapons in his arsenal before his next trip inside the Circle. “If they give me a date, I know I can quickly catch up,” he said. “I am ready to return any time this year.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2020