Filipino athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics this month will have an added incentive to go for gold after the MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) announced hefty cash rewards for medalists.
Aside from the financial reward from the Philippine government, the MVPSF is offering 10 million pesos for a gold medal, five million for a silver and two million for a bronze. This decision was finalized during the MVPSF Board Meeting earlier Thursday.
"This is the tournament of tournaments. We want to showcase what Filipino talent can do. We want to show the world that we can compete," said MVPSF Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan.
"When MVPSF was formed in 2011, the objective was to win our country's first Olympic gold and we have a really good chance to win medals in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics."
"We know that all of our athletes are eager to represent the Philippines but we wanted to give them added motivation that would help them and their families as well," said MVPSF President Al Panlilio. "The MVPSF will be giving out 10 million pesos for an Olympic gold medal, five million for silver, and two million for bronze."
This sum will be on top of what the medalists will receive through Republic Act 10699, which will also be ten, five, and two million pesos for Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively
"The MVPSF appreciates the sacrifices from all our athletes. We know it wasn't easy to train during the pandemic but they still persevered to give Filipinos something to look forward to and be proud of," said Panlilio.
"We hope the monetary reward we've set aside will give them the extra push to really go all out and win the country's first-ever gold medal in the Olympics. We've been waiting for the Olympic gold medal for so long and we know it will inspire the entire nation."
Fourteen of the 19 Olympians are athletes that the MVPSF has supported but the reward will be for all medalists.
"All 14 of the athletes we've supported have had some form of foreign training," said Pangilinan. "It tells you something about the preparation that's really needed by our athletes as part of their training. You cannot just train locally. You really have to expose yourself to international standards of competition and pick up lessons learned."
The 19 Filipino athletes competing in Tokyo are pole vaulter EJ Obiena; gymnast Carlos Yulo; boxers Irish Magno, Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam, and Nesthy Petecio; weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando; rower Cris Nievarez; taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa; skateboarder Margielyn Didal; shooter Jayson Valdez; sprinter Kristina Knott; judoka Kiyomi Watanabe; golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan; and swimmers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule.
"This is certainly a milestone year for us. The delegation we are sending is the best we've composed and sent to the Olympics. Of course, we're hoping that we will continue to have bigger and better contingents to send in the next Olympics. It's always a journey of improvement and growth," Pangilinan closed.
"We wish all our athletes Godspeed. I hope God blesses their effort for the holy grail of the Olympic gold medal."