Wednesday, December 12, 2007

$20K + House and Lot

...Is the Indonesian incentive to all their athletes for winning gold in the SEA Games. Every country has a similar financial incentive but not as generous as Indonesia's. There's a lot at stake for many athletes. It could mean that Santa is coming to town or not. So everyone fights for the win. It's a slug fest. And the sacrifices for many are incredible. I'll write about this later.

I'm really impressed with the quality of competition here. It's world class. The athletes are full time athletes. They are supported by government funding and receive a lot of support. At the Philippine camp for instance, we have some of the best medical staff: orthopedic doctors, chiropractor, physiotherapist, PT, and massage therapists. I kept them busy, sometimes I even got 2 massages a day after my workouts. It's been great. There are also many administrative people who manage the logistics of travel and make life easy for all of us. All that they ask is that we win gold.

We won gold in the points race. My teammate who is arguably the best Philippine rider, Victor Espiritu won it. He covered the breakaway attacks while I rested for the sprints. Consequently, within the first 8 laps he was able to lap the field with the right combination of countries represented in the breakaway. Once he established his lead, we just defended his position and helped him as much as we could. I was able to win some sprints and take away points from the competition and chase down potential breaks. It was a great team race and I'm lucky to have such a strong teammate. The racing was brutal, unlike any points race I've ever done. The overall speed was lower but the attacks were nonstop. It was an exhausting 40K interval. I was cross eyed by the finish, and completely spent.

It was an honor to join Victor on his victory lap draped in the Philippine flag. And watching the flag raised while singing the national anthem was memorable. It's been many, many years since I sang the national anthem as a kid growing up in the PI, but the words came back easily and I sang along proudly.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

No comments: