The head of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) consoled Filipino athletes -- including top gymnast Carlos Yulo -- after their setbacks in the early goings of the Tokyo Olympics.
Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa and Fil-American swimmer Remedy Rule were eliminated in their events on the very first day of the competition, while Yulo failed to advance to the finals of his pet event, the floor exercise.
One of the brightest medal hopes for Team Philippines, Yulo can still salvage his Olympic campaign after qualifying for the finals of the vault apparatus.
"Si Caloy, first-time sa Olympics. I got to talk to him before his vault competition. Sabi ko sa kanya na 'wag siya masyadong mag-worry kasi it really happens," said PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez.
"Kahit 'yung Japanese two-time world champion, natalo, nahulog sa bar," he added, referring to Japanese gymnastics legend Kohei Uchimura, who also failed to advance after falling off the horizontal bar.
The PSC chief believes that pressure and high expectations may have caught up with the Filipino Olympians, who are hoping to end the country's nearly century-long gold medal drought in the Summer Games.
"Medyo frustrating because we are expecting the elusive gold since 1924," said Ramirez.
But he also stressed that reaching Olympic glory doesn't happen overnight.
"Naawa ako sa bata (Yulo) dahil he was pressured. Nakita ko na umupo siya sa ibaba. I would imagine as an athlete 'yung frustration nu'ng bata, but Caloy should not worry because he has Paris Olympics to look forward to," said Ramirez.
"You're very lucky, kung unang pasok mo, panalo ka," he added.
Ramirez highlighted the history of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who didn't win a medal until her third Olympic stint in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
"Si Hidilyn, she's a model, pumasok siya 2008, nanalo siya sa Rio Olympics," he said. "'Yun ang sinabi ko sa kanya (Yulo). Huwag siya mag-worry, naiintindihan namin 'yan because it happens even to the best athletes."
Ramirez said the PSC has learned so much from the experience of Diaz, from her wildcard entry in China to her silver in Brazil.
"Nagkaroon ang board ng solution ang PSC at itinulad namin 'to kay Hidilyn Diaz. An athlete must have his own coaches, a nutritionist, a psychologist, a physiologist. Hindi puwede na ipapadala lang natin 'to at mangangarap lang tayo ng gold," he said.
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