Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Lance Armstrong fractures a collarbone in a cycling race in Spain

March 23, 2009

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong joined Spain’s Vuelta of Castilla and Leon, a race held on March 22, 2009, but was tossed in a bike pile-up which caused him injury—- a fracture on right collar-bone. Falling from his bike about 12.5 miles from the first stage finish, the 37-year old cyclist was helped by an ambulance which brought him to the hospital.

“The collarbone is broken, and I have a little bit of road-rash abrasions,” Armstrong said as he left Valladolid University Hospital. “I’ve never had this happen before; it’s pretty painful. I feel really miserable.”—Lance Armstrong. AP (03/24/409)

The clavicular bone fracture raises the question whether the champion will be well enough to compete in the Tour de France from July 4 to 26. The acclaimed cyclist and cancer survivor said he’ll need to go back to the United States to consult with his doctors. =0=

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Lance Armstrong fractures a collarbone in a cycling race in Spain

March 23, 2009

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong joined Spain’s Vuelta of Castilla and Leon, a race held on March 22, 2009, but was tossed in a bike pile-up which caused him injury—- a fracture on right collar-bone. Falling from his bike about 12.5 miles from the first stage finish, the 37-year old cyclist was helped by an ambulance which brought him to the hospital.

“The collarbone is broken, and I have a little bit of road-rash abrasions,” Armstrong said as he left Valladolid University Hospital. “I’ve never had this happen before; it’s pretty painful. I feel really miserable.”—Lance Armstrong. AP (03/24/409)

The clavicular bone fracture raises the question whether the champion will be well enough to compete in the Tour de France from July 4 to 26. The acclaimed cyclist and cancer survivor said he’ll need to go back to the United States to consult with his doctors. =0=

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Go dream and get an education

March 4, 2009

David Michael Bautista, known to the wrestling world as Batista has a good advice to Filipinos: Go dream and get an education. The message comes from the four-time world heavy weight wrestling champion who comes to Manila to promote the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) which can be viewed in a local cable Jack TV.

Taking advantage of his popularity, the 6 feet 6 inches, 290 lbs. American wrestler of mixed Filipino and Greek parentage, shares some facets of his life to bring inspiration to young kids and his wrestling fans. Having lived a hard life in tough neighborhoods in USA before he grabbed a place in the sports limelight, 40 year-old Batista preaches the necessity of getting a good education—something he regretted not pursuing, but want others to have including his two children. (Photo Credit: Britt601)=0=

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Manny Pacquiao receives a doctorate degree

February 20, 2009

Southwestern University conferred a doctorate to outstanding boxer Manny Pacquiao for his excellence in sports. The honorary degree in humanities was given at the Grand Ballroom of the Cebu City Hotel to the most famous Filipino pugilist who is an inspiration to many Filipinos.(Photo Credit: Philstar/ Freeman) =0=

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Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps apologizes for smoking marijuana

February 3, 2009

Michael Phelps, most admired Olympic swimmer with 8 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Games apologized for being caught smoking marijuana. The popular 23 year old with multi-million product endorsements on his sleeve had a picture by a British newspaper showing him inhaling pot. The incident allegedly occurred in a party at the University of South Carolina in November last year, prompting South Carolina’s sheriff’s office to investigate for criminal wrong-doing.

“I’m 23 years old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me,” he said. “For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public — it will not happen again.”—CNN.com/crime (02/03/09)

Many said his quick apology was appropriate for damage control. In 2004, pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated (DUI,) Phelps was sentenced to 18 months probation for which he also apologized.

Role models like him run the danger of alienating fans and product sponsors if similar incidents occur in the future. The marijuana incident reveals the error-proneness of the young sports celebrity who supports the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a group which aims to rid competitive sports of prohibited drugs. More infractions by personalities like Phelps make the public wonder if social decorum has been so compromised in the present generation. (Photo Credit Alexandre Battibugli) =0=

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Pacquiao wins over De la Hoya on a 9th round TKO

December 7, 2008

When I attended the Simbang Gabi sa Katedral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York a few hours before Manny (Pacman) Pacquiao faced “golden boy” Oscar de la Hoya on the welter-weight boxing ring, Fr. Jose Marabe asked those present if they prayed for the Filipino fighter to win.

The hushed laughter in the packed gothic cathedral on December 6, 2008 seemed to confirm that many sought God’s help for the most famous Filipino pugilist. The trust on Manny’s winning was as high as the people’s trust in God. Manny’s fans knew the power of faith.

I too offered prayers for Manny to win. I wanted to have that good news for the country, something that most kababayans could relate to. After all, Manny is among the few Filipinos who captivates and inspires the nation. When he fights, Manila literally stops. His homegrown fans in the Philippines go wild watching the TV beamed from Las Vegas.

When I arrived home from church, the game was already underway. It was Manny who was dominating the fight. De la Hoya seemed worn-out to match Manny’s solid jabs. The famous 10-time world champ and 1992 Olympic veteran wobbled as he took Pacman’s strikes.

By the 8th round, the Mexican-American boxer got his puffed eye which proved too cumbersome for him to go on. The befuddled De la Hoya soon lost the match on a technical knockout (TKO) after failing to answer the 9th round bell.

It was a glorious moment for Pacquiao, a beaming instant for Filipinos. Manny said he felt early on that he would win. Riding high on adrenaline, he wanted to fight again when the pay is right, perhaps after some rest. He set a personal record by wrecking the stellar reputation of the famous De la Hoya.

Manny demonstrated to be the better boxer. Prayers did work for him. On his return to the Philippines its the same prayers (add praises and admiration) that await him.w He once more raised pride for his people. He is an excellent boxer— better than the aspiring politician from Gen. San he wanted to be. (Photo Credits: AP/ Mark Terrill; AP/ Jamison, E; AP/ JaeChong; AP/ Jamison, E) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “A Postscript To Manny Pacquiao’s Outstanding Wins” posted by mesiamd, Wednesday, 07 July 2004 11:54.

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Beacons of hope & exemplars of the soul’s triumph

August 25, 2008

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The pessimists in us are not happy about 15 Filipino athletes coming to the Beijing Olympic Games. They think it’s a waste of time, money and effort sending the delegation with a dismal chance of winning. Yet considering the support we have for sports, it’s a wonder that we have a contingent of brave competitors willing to sweat it out for the glory and edification of the country.

Like Laos, Kiribati, Uruguay, Myanmar, Liechtenstein, Yemen, Zambia, and many others, Philippines went home wanting of an Olympic medal. But for sure all these countries are richer in experience and hope. To be part of a world where cultural differences is transformed into a gesture of friendly competitiveness is an accomplishment by itself.

To be the best in the field isn’t everything. By our participation in the games, we affirm the universal aspiration for excellence and our desire to connect with people. By cooperating with China’s hosting of a tantalizing “coming out” party which wowed the world, we bouy up cooperation and friendship among nations. We demonstrate that winning and losing are life-realities that all of us must contend with.

We salute the cash-strapped people of Zimbabwe whose hyperinflation and economic hardships didn’t deter their athletes to bring home 4 medals. We admire Malaysia and the small West African country of Togo which brought a silver and bronze respectively.

Turbulent Georgia, which nurses wounds from separatist South Ossetia and suffers border conflict with neighbor Russia, won 6 medals. Moslem Iran, threatening Israel and the world with its nuclear program basked in victory with two well-earned medals. Our southern Asian partner Indonesia celebrates success from 5 impressive wins, one of them gold in badminton.


Amidst the dominance and superiority of the United States with 110 medals (eclipsing China in total number but not in the count for gold,) the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain with barely a million people produced for the first time a gold medal winner in track in field. Jamaica, a Carribean country of 2.5 million brought home a spectacular win of 11 medals, 6 of them gold. War-torn Afghanistan with a population less than half of the Philippines, won a taekwondo bronze in the 17-day grueling competition.

With 85 million of us, how come we’re lagging behind these countries? How come winning an Olympic medal seems to be so unreal— a pipe dream for us? The answer probably lies in our attitude, endurance, and value judgment. We need to trust ourselves more. We must support and appreciate the sportsmanship of our athletes. We must believe in our capacity to win, stirring us to fight as a team and as an individual for our own self-fulfillment and survival.

The aspiration of humanity to excel and be part of a cause greater than its own is part of the Olympic tradition. In a time when we doubt ourselves if we can go beyond what others expect of us, our athletes stand as beacons of hope and exemplars of our soul’s triumph. Even if our athletes didn’t win, in the field of dreams, their hearts shine as bright as the torch and the gold of the Olympics.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FILIPINO OLYMPIC ATHLETES!

Eric Ang—Shooting; Ryan Paolo Arabejo—Swimming;
Daniel Coakley—Swimming; Henry Dagmil—Track & Field; Hidilyn Diaz—-Weightlifting; Rexel Ryan Fabriga—Diving; Tshomlee Go—Taekwondo; Mark Javier—Archery; Miguel Molina—Swimming; Sheila Mae Perez—Diving; Mary Antoinette Rivero—Taekwondo;
Christel Simms—Swimming; Harry Tanamor—Boxing;
Marestella Torres—Track & Field; JB Walsh—Swimming. (PhotoCredits: AFP/NicolasAsfouri; Reuters/OlegPopov; Reuters/MikeBlake)=0=

Pres. George Bush & his fading presidency

August 13, 2008

It’s a hell of a job to be the president of the United States. Pres. George W. Bush, for all his efforts to make his second term appealing to the Americans and the world, has been met with doubts, opposition, and ridicule.

He is accused of lying about Iraq though he decided to wage war on the basis of bipartisan approval by the US legislature, on the series UN resolutions versus Saddam Hussein left unimplemented, and on data supplied to him by CIA and the intelligence circles. Since 911, there is no major terrorist attack in the American heartland. Al Qaeda has withered and the troop surge in Iraq is showing positive results. That’s consoling enough for some grateful Americans, but not for the majority.

There are worrisome issues on the economy, homeland security, healthcare, illegal immigration, social security, climate change, abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research and education which stand on the way— on which the verdict of his presidency will be based. Though history hasn’t spoken, the president’s enemies have dunked him, even campaigned for his failure. His call to drill for oil which is supported by fellow Republicans and 70% of Americans to ease up future fuel shortages, have been rebuffed by Democratic party leader Nancy Pelosi.

As Pres. Bush fades towards November, when the election of a new president comes, he visibly enjoys a respite at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the sands of Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground, in August 9, 2008, he exchanged fun and laughter with Kerrie Walsh, a veteran US Olympian. (Photo Credit: Reuters/Downing, L)

Viewing a picture in the prism of race

August 12, 2008

Offensive or Innocuous? A picture of the olympic basketball team of Spain showing players slanting their eyes in reference to the Beijing Games can be dismissed as an innocent joke or a racial insult depending on one’s mood or point of view. Yet in this age of delicacy and political correctness, the picture which appeared in the Spanish newspaper La Marca has drawn some ire and criticisms. To quash further debates, extinguish anger and avoid racially-motivated violence, an apology has been recommended. YahooSports (08/12/08, Chase,C.)=0=

Beijing Olympics & China’s Human Rights Record

August 8, 2008

A nation of 1.3 billion people welcomes the world as it hosts the Beijing Olympics which started on 08/08/08. (Photo Credit: AP) Beaming with national pride, China pulls out a rousing 3 ½ -hour program of pageantry and fireworks to usher in the onset of competitions. It’s an occasion to show its best, after its modern transformation since the communists came to power in 1949.

In regions ravaged by the earthquake in May which killed 70,000 people and rendered close to 5 million people homeless, the people in the countryside and city took time to revel on the glitter of the moment, congregating in villages to watch the spectacular event in TV. About 70 world leaders which include Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Nicholas Sakorzy and Philippines’ Gloria M. Arroyo came to greet Chinese President Hu Jintao. More than 100,000 security personnel were deployed to assure the orderly conduct of the spectacle which was viewed by the largest audience ever: 2.3 billion people worldwide.

Costing about $70 billion, the sporting event has been hounded by political and environmental concerns in spite of government officials’ diplomatic maneuvers and efforts to curb air pollution. Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes.

The city is moderately polluted (air pollution index of 94 vs. WHO’s recommended level of <52.) Participants raise environmental concerns and fret over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games.

The world seems not ready to forget China’s poor human rights records. From various places worldwide protests have erupted against China’s domestic repressive policies. Critics and political activists condemn China’s supply of arms to the genocidal regime of Darfur. The Chinese government hasn’t opened a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama to resolve Tibet’s autonomy and desire for self-rule. In a speech which irks Chinese officials, US Pres. George W. Bush said the people of China deserve to enjoy basic liberty, the natural right of very human being.

In spite of government measures to curb pollution, Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes. The city is moderately polluted prompting participants to complain over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games. The Olympic organizers are closely monitoring the air safety and weather to determine if competitions need to be rescheduled.

As Beijing Olympics play on, we can’t ignore the positive forces of peace, friendship, understanding and goodwill that propel the holding of the games. Yet, behind the sublime intentions of nations, there are political, social, economic, and environmental concerns which stick out as urgent challenges for the people of the world to tackle.=0=