It’s a breath of fresh air for our Philippine athletes over the next 57 days. All systems go to participate in five major international competitions — four regional and one world — for 2023. The amazing team behind this mission are baseball’s Chito Loyzaga, fencing and pentathlon’s Rep. Richard Gomez, surfing’s Dr Jose Raul “George” Canlas, wrestling’s Alvin Aguilar and karate’s Ricky Lim.
They are determined to bring the best out of our athletes and the incredible life-changing chance to compete globally.
“That’s how busy Filipino athletes will be as sports competitions return almost all at the same time as pandemic restrictions are dramatically eased worldwide,” Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino revealed on Friday, the 13th of January 2023.
The Chef de Mission for the global competitions spearheads all the needed logistics to have all the details and preparations ready for our beloved athletes. The Chef de Mission for the Cambodia 32nd Southeast Asian Games will be Loyzaga which will be the first stop for the Philippine Team scheduled from May 5 to 17.
The Second World Beach Games in Bali from August 5 to 12 will have Gomez at the lead. Meanwhile, Canlas will lead the Philippine athletes to the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games from September 23 to October.
Up next would be to the World Combat Games in Riyadh from October 21 to 30 with Aguilar as the Chef de Mission. Lastly, Lim will have the team ready to head for the Sixth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Bangkok and Chonburi from November 17 to 26.
Unfortunately, Al Panlilio was unable to accept the assignment as Chef de Mission to the Paris 2024 Olympics. Citing his current leadership responsibilities and duties at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and PLDT and Smart.
In his letter to Tolentino, Panlilio expressed, “My current leadership roles and ongoing matters in the said organizations may not give me the full capacity for the CDM role. In as much as I would be so delighted to accept this assignment, I had to regretfully decline this most prestigious position.”
He further added that “I will continue to provide support to the POC so that our athletes can replicate or even surpass our great showing at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, but I believe providing help outside of the CDM role should allow the POC a great opportunity to add another helping hand, which would only benefit our athletes further.”
This leaves Tolentino in a bit of a situation wherein the challenging role of being Chef de Mission for the 2024 Olympics will also be critical to how the athletes will be finding themselves moving forward toward that goal. He praised Panlilio for having the right leadership and management acumen for the job. This was vividly seen with the success of Tokyo’s 2021 Games. Tolentino thanks Panlilio and wishes him the best in all his endeavors.
Moving forward, Tolentino relayed that they will announce a replacement for Panlilio next week — just in time for a team — also headed by Tolentino — flies to the French capital to seal contracts with a training camp facility for qualified Filipino athletes for the Olympics.
The latest information about the future games shows that there are 49 sports in the Cambodia SEA Games program, 14 in the World Beach Games, 37 in the Hangzhou Asian Games, 15 in the World Combat Games and 32 regulars and two demonstration sports in the AIMAG.
This is amazing news for our athletes as well as for the country. It has been a long time since such a formidable team gathered to support our athletes. Hopefully, things will go smoothly and they will be able to focus on their game with reliable leaders supporting them throughout the period of preparation and the actual competition itself. Let us know how this impacts you, folks! Just comment below and we’ll look forward to your insights, suggestions and reactions. Hope to hear from you soon, thanks!