Duterte to Filipino athletes in Rio Olympics: Give it your 100%

  • Duterte encouraged the Filipino athletes to give their 100% in the Olympics
  • 12 athletes will compete for the Philippines in the 2016 Rio Olympics
  • The last time the country won a medal was in 1996; thanks to boxer Onyok Velasco 

President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipino athletes participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics to give their 100% in the athletic event that only happens every four years.

In a statement issued Saturday afternoon, August 6, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said: “The President challenges the Philippine contingent to give 100 percent for the honor of the country and wishes them the best.”

The 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil opened Saturday morning. Twelve Filipino athletes are competing for the highly-coveted medals that have been very evasive to the Philippines for 20 years.

According to a Rappler infographic, the last medal from the global athletic competition was brought home by boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Two boxers, two swimmers, two weightlifters and three track and field players comprise the 12-member delegation. Three other contingents will be playing for golf, taekwondo and table tennis.

The President earlier met with the Olympics athletes in Malacañang. GMA News Online said in a story that Duterte vowed to augment support for athletes during the visit.

“I assure you during my time, I will get the money from the pockets of those who are not paying [taxes] and give it to you to train,” he was earlier quoted as saying.

“Of the 100 million Filipinos plus, few are given the opportunity to be a part of a team or to be working in government and it’s not given to everybody. That honor is very distinct,” he also told the athletes.

From August 5 to 21, more than 11,000 athletes from over 200 nations will compete for 306 events in 28 sports.