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Gold, silver and bronze, too!

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Volleyball today ain’t the same as it used to be during my high school days. I guess that statement will get sarcastic comments from players and die-hard fans of the game. I admit I am guilty of sour-graping, because I could never get into the volleyball team when I was in high school (nor in college, for that matter). I found out only later that the team members called me “Butterfinger” behind my back because rare was the time I could serve a ball over the net, or stop a strongly served one when it came my way!

***

What brought me into the subject of sports this time? Well last Saturday, when I joined my nephews and nieces and their families at the residence of Glenn and Rizza, the subjects discussed often turned to the Olympics, and that reminded me of my frustrations in sports. Well, watching the games being played at the Olympics could give anyone vicarious enjoyment, although, it was rather frustrating not seeing your country even among the top ten, or maybe even the top twenty? Ah, but I have not given up hopes that the day will come when we can rejoice over successful entries in that international competition.

***

Anyway, we cannot console ourselves that, for the first time, we have an athlete who earned a gold medal, and two others with silver and bronze ones. That is not too bad, when you think of the times our teams came home empty-handed, not sufficiently prepared to wrangle with the best from other countries. As expected, the United States topped the medal tally, but, look out for China, it has upped its position in the ranking a lot and should now be causing American athletes and their trainers reasons to double their efforts to ensure a first place landing in the next bouts.

***

Hidilyn Diaz has led the way, and I am sure her feat will inspire more of our budding athletes to double, even triple their efforts in training so they, too, can replicate Hidilyn’s accomplishment. And I hope the next Olympic medalists – in the next one, of course – will include more Filipinos. For this year, we should be grateful enough that our representatives to the international sports competitions did not do so badly, they brought home gold, silver and bronze, didn’t they?

***

If only all countries would concentrate on sport activities rather than on fighting each other for possession of territories! Can the United Nations not mediate between Afghanistan and the Talibans and draw them into athletic competitions instead? That may sound silly when we are talking about independent countries, and not high school or college teams, but who knows? It’s a pity, however, that the Olympic games have ended, and the combatants cannot be drawn into watching them anymore. But maybe they should be encouraged to just watch, because actual participation by both may also be deadly!

***

I hope the Olympic games had taken the minds of most countries and people from the raging pandemic which has been claiming more victims than a full grown war these days. If the warring countries would focus their efforts and fund on the training of sports competitors, perhaps we will be hearing about less wars, too. But I guess that is a very simplistic suggestion, and who would listen? At least what “battles” we are experiencing in our country are only political ones, and for that matter, let us prepare ourselves for the next onslaught!

***

Because I got intrigued by the discussions of my nephews about the boxing portions of the Olympics that have winded down, I turned on my set to the channel they suggested and, indeed, a boxing bout was going on. But it involved two females and I am sure I winced everytime they hit each other. What if they hit their opponent on the sensitive parts, like the breasts, that could develop lumps that even become cancerous? Do they not consider that in approving, and including boxing for women in the international games?

***

As I write this, an item flashed on TV showed the Top Ten ranking countries that had competed in the Olympics. As expected, the United States topped the list, with China coming in second. I waited for the Top Ten to be named, but, alas, the Philippines was not there. I could not catch up with the rest, but they should be in all the media outlets today. Well, at least our Hidilyn got a gold, and two others a silver and a bronze.

***

But let us congratulate all those who had qualified to compete and did their best to represent our country. As of now, all we can do is to assure them that we appreciate their efforts, and will be wishing them better luck next time, because they worked hard to represent our country, but maybe need to try harder next time. And of course let us assure them of our prayers, too!*

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