The life stories and information on the achievements of Filipino athletes, who competed in the Olympic Games, have not been extensively documented in the past.
But this will be now be addressed as a website serving as an archive for the lives and times of Filipino Olympians has been launched.
Philippine Olympians Association president Akiko Thomson-Guevarra said this following the online inauguration of the website philippineolympians.org.
“This project is a beautiful example of collaboration among the stakeholders in Philippine sports and in a meaningful and thoughtful way. We’re looking for information about our Olympians,” said Guevarra in a virtual huddle on Zoom.
Guevarra, a swimmer who competed in 1988, 1992, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games for the Philippines, discussed the content of the website with scribes, officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee, athletes, coaches, and Milo executive Lester del Rosario.
Research on the stories involving Filipino Olympians is known as the Digital Living Archive of Olympians PH project. She said the POA and its researchers have sought materials on Filipino Olympians, who have gone to the Olympics since the Philippines began participating in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Sadly, the Philippine Sports Commission and the POC did not have data on the individuals who went there.
“We reached out to the POC and the PSC, only to find out that they did not have the information. That was a eureka moment for us. And I said, ‘Oh my God,’” said Guevarra, who formerly served as a board of the PSC in the past.
Now that the website has been finished, it now contains the profile and stories of 416 athletes, including 410 who have gone to the Summer Olympics and six who were in the Winter and Youth Olympics.
It will soon get updated following the confirmed qualification of 17 Filipino athletes to the Tokyo Olympics.
“This is something we need. This is something we can do, something we can provide and benefit many people,” added Guevarra, who believes that the website is a passion and legacy project.
POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said the launch of the website is a timely activity, which came at the end of the weeklong celebration of Olympic Day.
Also in the huddle were POA officials Rafael Hechanova and Stephen Fernandez, POC deputy secretary general Karen Caballero, Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa and his coach Caloy Padilla.