Team PHI ready for Rio Olympics opening
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 30, 2016 07:22 PM
Presence of mind is always most important. Security will always be a problem when over 200 countries congregate. So, be aware and be prepared for anything that might happen --- Team PHI Chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta
RIO DE JANEIRO – Members of the Philippine delegation to this Rio Olympics, including nine athletes, their coaches and just a handful officials, gathered at the Pinoy quarters here Friday evening for a one-hour meeting.
Chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta wanted to make sure everybody’s on the same page, from the procedures to be observed in the formal flag-raising ceremony on Aug. 2 inside the Athletes Village to the opening ceremony on Aug. 5 at the Maracana Stadium.
On both events, Romasanta asked everybody to wear their barong.
Romasanta also briefed the delegation members on the steps to be taken in case any untoward incident happens.
“Presence of mind is always most important. Security will always be a problem when over 200 countries congregate. So, be aware and be prepared for anything that might happen,” he said.
Col. Jeff Tamayo of the Philippine Olympic Committee, a security expert and consultant back home, also issued some advice just in case anything goes wrong.
“Never keep your guard down. As we gather at the stadium, we need to identify a safe haven for us, a place where we will meet in case something happens,” he said.
A couple of Filipino coaches, Boy Velasco of boxing and Alfonsito Aldanete of weightlifting, are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and should know the procedure.
“We remind the coaches to also take care of the athletes,” Romasanta said.
Media concerns were also raised during the meeting, and athletes, coaches and officials were told to make themselves available to the media as long as it doesn’t interfere with their training.
Philippine media seeking live interviews from back home will have to be the ones to adjust their desired schedule and not the other way around.
“They must be reminded that there’s a 13-hour time difference between Rio and Manila. What is early in the evening in Manila may be too early in the morning here,” said the chef-de-mission.
“We don’t need to wake the athletes up at five or six in the morning for an interview,” he added.
Lastly, Romasanta reminded the athletes of the message from President Duterte before the delegation left Manila for Rio de Janeiro.
“Just give your best,” was the President’s message.
“You have already made the country proud by being here. So, don’t pressure yourself. Medals will come as a matter of course. Just give your best and enjoy the moment."