CAPAS, Tarlac — WINNING as one, the Philippines acknowledged outstanding athletes in the closing ceremonies of the 30th Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday at the New Clark City.
Filipino surfer Roger Casugay showed that it’s not always about emerging on top but to be of help to others even if he’s a competitor.
The 24-year-old La Union native was given the Fair Play award.
Casugay gave up his lead as he decided to turn around to help Indonesian surfer Arip Nurhidayat, whose board was thrown up in the air from the force of the wave.
His heroics earned praise not only from Filipinos both present at the surfing competition venue, online and all around the world, but also from no less than Indonesian president Joko Widodo.
“My appreciation to Roger Casugay, a Filipino surfer who gave up his chance to win the gold medal in a bid to help an Indonesian athlete who fell [into the sea] during the competition,” Widodo posted on his official Twitter account @jokowi on Monday.
“Winning a competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, but still, humanity is above all,” he added.
Swimmers Zheng Wen of Singapore and Thi Ann Vien Nguyen of Vietnam were honored as the Mega Male and Mega Female.
Zheng bagged a total of eight medals: six golds and two silvers, while Nguyen captured six golds and two silvers.