A TOP British embassy official on Thursday welcomed the idea of allowing Filipino athletes to undergo training in London even after the Olympic Games.
Charge d’ Affaires Trevor Lewis said his country is more than willing to lend a hand to Philippine sports especially if it can find a suitable partner that could support the program within the United Kingdom.
Several members of the 11-man PH Olympic team have availed of the pre-Games training camp which the host has made available for free to other countries before the July 27-August 12 quadrennial showpiece.
“I think it’s interesting sharing ideas and it’s an existing relationship that can be built upon,” said Lewis during the formal launching of Solar Sports’ official coverage of the London Games at the Sofitel Hotel.
The British official was joined in the affair by Colin Glen, the embassy head of strategic communications, Solar Sports president Wilson Tieng and Solar Sports chief executive officer Peter Chanliong.
Lewis added a willing partner in the UK is all Philippine sports official need to find to get the ball rolling.
London is the only city in the world to host the Olympics for the third time, and Solar Sports is proud to be its official broadcast coveror here in partnership with TV5. The English capital previously hosted the `Greatest Show On Earth’ in 1908 and 1948.
“Rivalries will be renewed, records will be broken, and Solar Sports will be there,” said Cheng.
Chanliong added the Olympic coverage of Solar is going to be 24/7 for 17 days and spanning 400 hours.
“Filipino viewers will have enough to keep them happy and satisfied. I don’t think you will have any shortage of Olympic action,” he said. “Solar Sports also hopes to bring as much sports with relevance to Filipinos.”
This marked the second straight time that Solar will be the official broadcaster of the Olympics. “It began with the Beijing Olympics, now it’s London, hopefully, we’ll get a shot at Brazil (in 2016),” added Chanliong.
Boxer Mark Anthony Barriga leads the smallest Filipino Olympic contingent since the 1996 Games, which also includes shooter Brian Rosario, lady weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, cyclist Daniel Caluag, archers Mark Javier and Rachel Cabral, judoka Tomohiko Hoshina, athletics’ Maristella Torres and Rene Herrera and swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Lacuna.
Although faced with great odds, the 11 Filipino athletes were nonetheless praised by Glen, who stressed that “qualifying in the Olympics is an achievement in itself.”
But Lewis is keeping his fingers crossed that one of the PH bets will be able to bring home the country’s first Olympic medal in 16 years.
“I hope they can bring home a medal, celebrate the victory, and host a party at the British embassy,” said Lewis.