Posted in 2008 Olympics & Paralympics

Wheelchair Rugby

wheelchair rugby Rugby as a sport is played out in a field with several players hugging a ball and trying to bring it to the their opponent’s goal.  So when Marco mentioned that he bought tickets for wheelchair rugby for the three of us, I was skeptical as to how they’ll play the game.

The difference? The players are on wheelchairs, played indoors, and only 4 players to a team.  It’s a cross between basketball, handball and hockey wherein you have to dribble the ball once every 10 seconds while it is in your possession and you have to bring the ball to the goalpost on your opponent’s side.  They have penalties which is similar to hockey like one minute suspension and has a special area where the penalized player will have to stew.

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Posted in 2008 Olympics & Paralympics

Paralympic Games: Team Philippines Recap

Two weeks after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, another sports event opened in Beijing.  This time, the athletes are special and the Paralympic Games began with a unique opening ceremony participated by 148 countries all over the world.

For Team Philippines, we only had 3 athletes competing in two events.  They are Pedro Sollique, Cherry Pinpin and Ads Dumapong.  Sollique and Pinpin both competed in the 2-person keelboat in Qingdao.  Ads Dumapong is fielded in women’s powerlifting for the 80+kg category.

As the Games are about to end on Wednesday, our athletes have also completed their events.  Sollique and Pinpin placed last after 10 races in their event.  Ads Dumapong, on the other hand, did not start on her event.

I didn’t actually get to follow our athletes so I’m not really sure what happened.  It seems like they were mysteriously forgotten even by our news stations in the Philippines.  To our special athletes, I’m proud of you for competing in one of the best sports event in history.  You may not have won but you’re already winners by overcoming your disabilities and showing the world that you’re better than the others.

Posted in 2008 Olympics & Paralympics

German Gymnast Who Made An Impact

I know.. I know.. The Olympics ended two weeks ago and what the heck am I writing about more Olympic news. I was supposed to write this a week ago but was either lazy to do it or too much work to do. Anyhow, in a sport where the older you get, the difficult it is to compete, this German female gymnast overcame it all and manage to win a Silver medal in the vault category in Beijing.

When her fellow Chinese gymnasts’ age are being questioned, no one can tell her that she’s not allowed to compete. Oksana Chusovitina is 33 years old and has been competing way before her fellow competitors are even born. This is her fifth Olympics for her third team (Soviet Union, Uzbekistan, Germany). She was even on the same team as the father of the all-around individual women’s gold medalist Nastia Liukin of the US.

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Posted in 2008 Olympics & Paralympics

My Beijing Olympics Experience

The 29th Summer Olympics just ended and it will go as one of the most memorable events in my life. It all started in 2006 when I came to Beijing to work for an Australian research company. At first, I was hesitant to move as I’m quite comfortable with my teaching job in the south. However, I told myself, I want to watch and experience the Olympics.

I’m not a sports buff but I’m quite a fan of women’s artistic gymnastics and swimming. Ever since I was young and watching Nadia Comaneci performing perfect 10s in different events, I was already hooked. My dad taught me swimming when I was young but I was never competitive so I just consoled myself cheering for whoever was competing.

Last year when they did a lottery of Olympic tickets, my friend and I submitted our wish list. I only won a badminton event for my friend but he won several events including the all around individual final in women’s gymnastics. Phase 2 and phase 3, I was lucky to win some more tickets for him. I was hoping to get some swimming tickets but to no avail. In any case, my friend promised one of the gymnastics ticket to me and I was satisfied.

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Posted in 2008 Olympics & Paralympics

Beijing Olympics: Last Day and Recap for Team Philippines

It’s hot in Beijing during the last day of the Olympics. Only a few matches left most notably the men’s basketball finals between the US “Redeem Team” and Spain. The US team won 118-107 with Dwyane Wade scoring 27 points. They’ve redeemed themselves after placing third in the Athens Game.

In the demonstration sport of Wushu, Team Philippines picked up 1 silver and 2 bronze medal in the last day. Mary Jane Estimar picked up a silver medal in the Women’s 52kg Sanshou category. Mariane Mariano and Benjie Rivera picked up a bronze medal each in their respective categories in Sanshou. Just like my brother said, hearing the Philippine national anthem played in the games is enough. Let’s hope that they will continue with this sport till it becomes a regular sport in the future games.

That’s the end of Team Philippines’ journey in the Beijing Olympics. We ended with no golds but we went home with rich experience and determination to improve ourselves to do better in London 2012. Till the next Olympics.. hopefully, I’ll get a chance to work in London.

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