ORMOC CITY---Sportsman and actor-turned Ormoc city mayor Richard Gomez was appointed chef de mission of the Philippine delegation to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
“I’ve done it before as chef de mission of the country in Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand (in 2014). Now, I am going to do it again in the Asian Games 2018,” Gomez told reporters at the sideline of first Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (Global Laser-Run City Tour in the Philippines, hosted in Ormoc.
Gomez also expressed his elation over the election of Ricky Vargas as the new president of the Philippine Olympic Committee against Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr., who held the said position for 13 years.
The mayor, who is also the president of the fencing association, stressed that the election of Vargas “brings a new confidence to the national sports associations.”
Asked how the country would fare in major global sports competition, Gomez said that there is a need for unity between the POC and the Philippine Sports Commision.
“Lagi tayo sa baba. Alam mo ang importante, ang Philippine Sports Commission at ang Philipine Olympic Committee kailangan talagang magkaisa iyan, kailangan naguusap sila, kailangan isa ang program nila towards sa goal na dapat manalo tayo. Pero kapag nag-kanya kanya, magkakagulo. The Philippine Sports Commission is the funding arm of the national sports associations. Iyong POC is a private organization under the International Olympic Committee. Sila iyong nag-accredit, nag-check kung kumusta ang taining ng mga atheletes,” Gomez said.
Praises from Olympians
Meanwhile, two Olympians from Europe have lauded Gomez after the successful hosting of the Laser-Run City tour on Saturday.
Dubbed as “Ormoc City Laser Run 2018”, this type of sporting event is the first in the country and in the Eastern Visayas region.
“We are already doing good. This is a good chance to start,” said Olympian Deniss Cerkovkis of Latvia who came to the city to help in organizing the event.
According to Cerkovkis, holding the Laser-Run in the city is feasible, adding that Gomez “is doing a great job…as he understands a lot in sports.”
Bernhard Petruschinsui, German Olympian and an international expert of the UIPM laser run, also said that he is happy that actor-sportsman turned politician has realized the plan to host this kind of sports while acknowledging the tournament venue made available to the athletes in the city.
“This Laser-Run is a run and shoot event with the use of a laser gun, for all ages from 9 under to 15 above. We invited all who would like to play, even from international, and we are happy we are hosting this today,” Gomez said.
The mayor said that the sporting competition is part of the sports tourism program of the city.
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