TOKYO — Gymnastics world champion Caloy Yulo is widely regarded as the Philippines' best bet for a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, capable of winning a bounty that is tipped to reach P50 million.
He may not be totally aware of that.
Gymnastics Association of the Philippines president Cynthia Carrion said Yulo is insulated from the outside world, kept away from the usual pre-Olympic buzz and left to focus on his bid for a first-ever Olympic gold medal.
Carrion bared Yulo hasn't been informed about the growing incentive for a gold medal that has so far reached P33M after donations by Manny V. Pangilinan (P10M), Ramon S. Ang (P10M) and Rep. Mikee Romero (P3M) on top of the P10M guaranteed by the government's incentive act.
“I want him to do everything he can [to win gold] for the country, not just for the money,” Carrion said when she bumped into a couple of sportswriters at Conrad Hotel in downtown Tokyo on Wednesday.
More than anything else, Carrion said she is doing her best to shield the 21-year old from the huge expectations from a nation longing for Olympic success, especially in the middle of a pandemic.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him,” Carrion said.
Carrion herself admitted it is hard not to like the chances of Yulo, the reigning world champion in the floor exercise. The gymnastics association president also expects the youngster to be in contention for a podium pace in the vault and parallel bars.
But for now, she's giving Yulo all the space to focus on Olympic dream.
“He is so calm, confident and ready. He’s really very strong right now. When I saw him, I was really impressed,” said Carrion.
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