MANILA – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang will give Tokyo Olympics medalists, led by the country’s very first gold medal winner Hidilyn Diaz, a total of PHP22 million in incentives for accomplishing the Philippines’ best Olympic performance to date, in 97 years of competing in the foremost international competition.
Ang’s “personal gift” or incentive to the winning athletes, as earlier announced by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) prior to the Summer Games, will consist of PHP10 million for weightlifter Diaz, PHP5 million each for boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio for winning silver medals, and PHP2 million for boxer Eumir Marcial’s bronze finish.
“As a longtime partner and supporter of Philippine sports, I’m so happy for our athletes. All their hard work paid off. They’ve opened the eyes of so many Filipinos sports patrons, fans, and aspiring athletes that indeed, we Filipinos can compete and win against the best in the world in the Olympics. This is just the beginning. We have the momentum. We can only get stronger in the succeeding Olympics,” Ang said in a news release on Monday.
“I’m especially grateful to Hidilyn, whom we’ve supported for several years now, for giving honor to the country by winning our very first Olympic gold medal. We can build on these successes to develop stronger sports programs and produce more Olympic winners like Hidilyn, Carlo, Nesthy, and Eumir,” he added.
Ang also said the Olympic athletes, as well as their coaches and teams, gave the Philippines more than just medals.
“The message of this Olympic campaign for us Filipinos is clear. We are resilient in the face of challenges and we do not back down from adversity. This pandemic is perhaps one of the greatest challenges in our lifetime. Thank you Hidilyn, Carlo, Nesthy, and Eumir for giving us hope and inspiration during this critical time. You showed us that nothing is impossible,” Ang said.
Ang added that as the Olympics showcased the outstanding athletic feats that fully-trained athletes are capable of, it also serves as a reminder that people are not limited, and that Filipinos should endeavor to keep fit and healthy in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Aside from following health protocols to stop the transmission of the virus and getting vaccinated, we should also do our best to make sure we are mentally and physically fit and healthy during this crisis. I believe that will help us a lot in coping with the stresses of this time,” Ang said.
Before the pandemic, SMC consistently supported the country’s participation and hosting of international competitions, including the staging of 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
In this SEA Games edition, the Philippines also completed its best performance so far in 42 years of participation with a haul of 149 gold medals, 117 silvers and 121 bronzes.
In 2005, SMC also backed the Philippine team that won the overall championship in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games with 112 golds, 85 silvers and 93 bronzes.
Ang, through SMC, is also a major supporter of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Awards. The PSA, 100-member, 56-year-old association holds the annual awarding ceremony to honor athletes, coaches, officials and organizations that made a significant impact to Philippine sports.
SMC’s subsidiary, San Miguel Brewery, Inc., is also a consistent supporter of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC) Cebu Sports Awards, 37-year-old event that recognizes the accomplishments of Cebuano sports personalities.
SMC also owns three professional basketball teams, namely San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok in the Philippine Basketball Association. (PR)