climb

heartbreak at the olympics

my mom insisted that i transfer to another seat. she was on the long sofa, and we were tuned to the olympics broadcast over abc 5. our last hope for olympic gold was about to begin her fight: toni rivero in taekwondo. as in the two previous fights, i was ecstatic and highly animated, reacting as kicks were thrown. but for this particular fight, i was listless. i gripped my mom's shoulders as the fighters were told to begin. toni was up against a greek fighter. hometown favorite. but i did not have the energy to scream and cheer as i did in the earlier bouts. escpecially since donnie lost his match earlier on.

when the fight began, and the fighters exchanged kicks, the greek jin racked up some points against toni. she eventually won after 3 rounds. toni has one last fight. if she wins this one, she'll get a bronze. still good, considering we were shut out of the medal tallies in sydney.

what irked me about the match, however, was not my mom insisting that i was far too histrionic, but the conspiracy theories spewed by the local taekwondo commentators. they were repeating that same "we are being robbed of the gold" line that some broadcasters purveyed when onyok fought his finals match in 1996. these things do not do well for the country, particularly for the gullible majority. filipinos would tend to think that the world is against us, when in fact it is not. yes, discrimination exists, but not in the way these harbingers of conspiracies would want us to believe. it is not good for anyone to think, for a prolonged period of time, that things have been stolen from us. i don't quite agree with this sentiment. i did not agree with the majority who believed in flor contemplacion's innocence. i suppose i'm not just keen on putting myself and my country down, particularly in this case that our player didn't convincingly display her superiority. it was a close fight, i must say, and it all boils down to the judges. we cannot accept a particular set of rules and say the rules suck when they don't go our way.