North Korean leader as ‘role model’ for POC



For “role models,” the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) need not look farther and beyond the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had agreed to bury the hatchet, at least for the duration of the ongoing Winter Olympic Games in Pyeong­chang south of Pyongyang, apparently in keeping with the spirit of the quadrennial extravaganza on ice, as well as that of its summer counterpart.

It would be a relief for Trump and every other world player if Moon and Kim decided to flirt with reunification of their two countries after Pyeongchang.

In which case, the Philippines should hang its head in shame if the fight over turf and whatever else there is to it in the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) continued at the expense of the country’s athletes.

Throw in the wrangling between rival tennis factions and wonder no more why our up and coming tennis players can’t even be competitive at the Tier 3 Southeast Asian Games.

In the impasse at the POC, its current president Jose Cojuangco is fighting with boxing supremo Ricky Vargas and cycling boss and lawmaker Abraham Tolentino for God knows what.

The government had joined the fray in a move that seemed to risk it with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which could just suspend the POC over a lower court’s intervention in a bid to resolve the leadership issue between Cojuangco, Vargas and Tolentino.

The Pasig Regional Trial Court last December ruled that Vargas and Tolentino be allowed to run in elections that would determine the POC presidency.

Cojuangco would not budge, however, citing his victory—a disputed one, though—in the November balloting held also last year.

Other than prestige, what else can be there in the POC that people who all say they are for the good of Philippine sports publicly make shameless “role models” of themselves?

A platform for a showing of egos bigger than those of archenemies Kim and Trump? Maybe.

A jumping board for higher political office? Possibly.

Whatever it is, the POC overlord gets to rub elbows with the greater majesties in Lausanne or wherever the IOC holds its meetings on, for example, the World Cup host for 2024.

These supposed caretakers of world sports don’t travel economy class, stay at cheap hotels or dine in so-so restaurants.

Meanwhile, we would like Cojuangco, Vargas and Tolentino to take us on a tour of quarters of Filipino athletes and see for themselves why even the mediocre Southeast Asian Games is already Mount Olympus for us.


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