THE Philippines seeks to appeal to the International Gymnastics Federation to involve the country to the solidarity fund for athletes greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I will be writing my friends in the FIG to include the Philippines in their solidarity program since we are also suffering from the coronavirus crisis,” said Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion.
If the country succeeds, the program will boost ace gymnast Caloy Yulo’s quest for the elusive Olympic gold medal.
Carrion said she would be reaching out to FIG to endorse the 18-year-old Yulo for the financial aid that would help his drive in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
“I think they will be giving it out mostly to countries in need like those from Africa and Asia. Well, European countries and the United States also suffered, but I don’t think they will be included in the program because they have so much money,” said Carrion.
The FIG Foundation for Solidarity is repoeted to putting up a budget amounting to CHF 400,000 — or more than P20 million — to athletes from countries who suffered economic meltdown due to the coronavirus crisis.
If this would be the basis, gymnasts from Asia and Africa stand to qualify as well as those from the Philippines, whose sports ministry lost more than half of its funding after the government decided to realign its budget to help in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
The public health crisis has greatly affected the budget meant for Olympic-bound athletes like Yulo, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxers Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial.