FRENCH CONNECTION. Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (right) signs the memorandum of understanding with Moselle Sports Academy President Patrick Weiten in Mert City, France on Thursday (Jan. 26, 2023). (Photo courtesy of POC) 

MANILA – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has partnered with the Moselle Sports Academy to guarantee the physical and mental preparedness of Filipino athletes who will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

POC President Abraham Tolentino and Moselle Sports Academy President Patrick Weiten signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in a ceremony held on Thursday at the academy located in Mertz City, northeastern France.

“We, in the POC, are making sure our qualified athletes are well-prepared and acclimatized for the Paris Olympics,” Tolentino said in a press release distributed to the media on Friday.

The deal covers the use of sports facilities for practically all sports as well as accommodation and food for Filipino athletes.

“The qualified athletes will train here for two months before the Olympics open,” said Tolentino, who is also president of the cycling association.

The Paris Olympics is scheduled from July 26 to Aug. 11.

Tolentino said the two-month pre-Olympic training is a never-done-before endeavor by the POC.

According to the POC press release, Metz's environment is well-suited for athletes’ training. It has a 3,000-year rich historical, cultural and architectural background that put it on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Tolentino said the POC is aiming to have more athletes qualify for Paris.

A total of 19 qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics but only four managed to win medals.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz delivered the Philippines' first gold medal while boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio bagged the silvers and Eumir Felix Marcial clinched the bronze. (PNA)