Philippine flag raised in Olympic Village
by rick olivares
RIO DE JANEIRO – Zika virus?
The only fever going around the Olympic Village in Barra Da Tijuca in Rio De Janeiro is the Olympic fever.
And that is getting hotter by the day. More so after the formal raising of the Philippine flag as well as the standard of 206 other nations participating in the 2016 Summer Games.
Amid a festive atmosphere, the Philippine delegation, numbering around 20 though still missing about six to seven people all in all, arrived at the Olympic Park in the native “Barong Tagalog” to join other countries in the official flag raising ceremony that took an hour.
The mayor of the Athletes Village, two-time Olympic medalist Janeth Arcain, welcomed all the delegates to Brazil as dancers dressed in leafy costumes worn by indigenous tribes that live near the world-famous Amazon River provided the entertainment.
The 47-year old Arcain, who won bronze and silver medals for the Brazilian women’s basketball team in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and played for the Houston Comets in the Women’s National Basketball Association from 1997-2005, welcomed the athletes and officials and told them to consider the Athletes Village and Rio de Janeiro their home for the next few weeks.
She spoke about the importance of sports and “how it can bring people together.” Arcain, who is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, also reminded everybody that “fair play is the most important thing in the field of play.”
Filipino chef-de-mission Jose Romasanta presented Arcain a replica of the famous Philippine jeepney.
“This signifies the official entry and participation of the Philippine delegation in this Rio Oympics,” proudly said Romasanta. “As well as the friendship between our peoples."