Pinoy surfer Casugay receives international Fair Play award
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 11, 2020 04:31 PM
(Photo: Josh Albelda)
Surfer Roger Casugay was honored with the Pierre de Coubertin Act of Fair Play Award by the Comitee International du Fair-Play (International Fair Play Committee) for his heroic deed during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The men’s longboard gold medalist in the 30th edition of the biennial meet hosted by the country became the first Filipino to receive the prestigious sportsmanship award named after the father of the international Olympic movement.
International Surfing Association (ISA) Membership and Development Manager Alex Reynolds informed the United Philippine Surfing Association of Casugay’s achievement Tuesday.
The award will be officially handed to Casugay on October 27. He is expected to fly to Monaco to personally receive the award, should the crisis permit. Casugay also has an option to receive the award virtually.
The 26-year old Casugay, a native of San Fernando, La Union drew headlines for his heroic act of saving Indonesian competitor Arip Nurhidayat, who broke his ankle leash and was swept by giant waves.
Organizers of the surfing event decided to rerun the competition as Casugay went on to win the gold medal.
“We are very proud of Roger because he has truly exemplified the true meaning of being a Filipino and a sportsman,” said Philippine Sports Commission Chairman and 30th SEAG Chef de Mission William ‘Butch’ Ramirez in a statement.
“Above all, it is a more fulfilling achievement to be recognized for character than skills and achievements. It shows who we are as people and as a nation,” added the PSC Chief.
UPSA President Dr. Jose Raul Canlas also expressed pride on Casugay’s recognition.
“It is nice to recognize an athlete not only for his athletic skills but also for his humanity. Holding surfing during the Southeast Asian Games is a milestone event. It paved the way for the ISA to recognize the region and allowed Roger to be also recognized,” he said.
Casugay was the flag bearer and recipient of the “Fair Play” award during the SEA Games closing ceremonies held in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
Filipino surfers finished as overall champions in the sports’ SEA Games debut with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals.