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(C) Nesthy Petecio

2024 Summer Olympics

Petecio, Paalam honored to be PH flag bearers: ‘Ang nasa isip namin si Yulo o Obiena’

Two Olympians with the potential to win gold in Paris later this month have been selected to carry the Philippine flag.

Tokyo Olympics silver medalists and boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio will lead the country’s centennial delegation as their boat cruises along the River Seine on July 26 for the opening ceremony of this year’s Olympics in the French capital.

Initially, the Philippine Olympic Committee could have chosen the first-ever Filipino Olympic champion, Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo.

However, the International Olympic Committee requested a flag bearer who would be competing in the Games. This led the POC to select Petecio and Paalam, who are among the team’s strongest contenders to follow in Diaz’s footsteps in Paris.

2020-tokyo-olympics-bronze-medal-match-nesthy-petecio Petecio, Paalam honored to be PH flag bearers: 'Ang nasa isip namin si Yulo o Obiena' 2024 Summer Olympics Boxing News  - philippine sports news

Photo from @Olympics

“Sobrang nakaka-proud at honored na isa po ako sa napili. Pero nung una, parang ‘Ha? Talaga?’ Ganoon po talaga ‘yung reaction ko that time,” said 2019 World champion Petecio when asked on her reaction to such a huge assignment.

“Ang nasa isip ko po talaga is si Carlos Yulo or si EJ (Obiena) po yung magiging flag-bearer po; nasa kanilang dalawa. So, nagulat po ako at ‘yung lang po ‘yung nasabi ko. Pero sabi ko nga po, nakaka-proud at honored po ako na ako ang isa sa magdadala ng flag po.”

Paalam, meanwhile, secured his spot at the Games through a standout performance in the ‘second chance’ qualifiers.

For him, carrying the Three Stars and the Sun at the ceremony is an overwhelming experience.

tokyo-2020-paalam-vs-yefai Petecio, Paalam honored to be PH flag bearers: 'Ang nasa isip namin si Yulo o Obiena' 2024 Summer Olympics Boxing News  - philippine sports news

Photo from Paolo Del Rosario/Cignal

“Sobrang saya kasi hindi lang po apelyido namin, hindi lang po ‘yung sarili namin, kundi buong Pilipinas po ‘yung dala namin. Sobrang saya kaya ang taas ng hawak mo, pero mas masarap po ‘pag nanalo at marinig mo ‘yung boses ng Pilipinas. Yun ang mas masarap talaga,” said the 2022 Asian bantamweight champion.

#ReadMore  Bambol commits to rewarding excellence in Paris 2024

Beyond the honor of carrying the flag, Petecio and Paalam emphasized their readiness to compete under the same flag – and, hopefully, upgrade their Tokyo silvers to gold in Paris during a visit to Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan, the head of the MVP Sports Foundation.

“Ever since po, since 2010 naman, if tama ‘yung year na nabanggit ko, ‘yung suporta po talaga nila sa ‘min is ibang-iba.Yung lahat ng wala, yung mga hindi namin naranasan, binigay nila. Plus po ngayon, mas todo suporta pa po sila sa amin,” shared Petecio.

“Nakakagalak po ‘yon, nakakatuwa po ‘yon na may suporta pong ganong binibigay si MVP, ang MVPSF, at sa Smart din po. Kahit po anong mangyari, andon po sila.”

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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