MANILA — Almost two weeks ago, the Filipino sports community rejoiced to the news that Caloy Yulo and Nesthy Petecio won gold medals in separate world championships for gymnastics and women's boxing, respectively.
And with the recent wins coming through sports that the Filipinos are not really known for, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez looks at them as more than mere victories.
"It's inspiring. It inspires the athletes," Ramirez said on Tuesday during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Amelie Hotel.
Although the Southeast Asian Games that the Philippines will host from Nov. 30-Dec. 11 is just around the corner, Ramirez now looks forward to next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo as he sees the likes of Yulo and Petecio as well as 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz as the ones who can finally give the country its first-ever Olympic gold.
"Searching for a medal in the Olympics is certainly hard, but we have the talent, an excellent coach, and a quality foreign exposure," Ramirez added.
In fact, he believes that a new era in Philippine sports has just dawned.
"With the things we're having, I think it's a good evolution," Ramirez added, citing that Yulo and Petecio's wins came at a time everyone is looking for new sports heroes to emerge. (PNA)