Gold Medalist Eduard Folayang on 2019 SEA Games: "There's a Proper Time for Criticism." - The Daily Sentry

Gold Medalist Eduard Folayang on 2019 SEA Games: "There's a Proper Time for Criticism."

Eduard Folayang | Sea Games 2019 | Photo credit to the owner
In the midst of all the criticisms encompassing the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, Eduard Folayang, three-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist and former ONE lightweight world champion is said to be calling for all of these sideswipes to finally stop.

Folayang, 36-year-old from Baguio City and a veteran of the biennial sports meet, gave emphasis to the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect event in his experience, hence said that there will always be something to complain about, but all of that will always be a part of being an athlete. 

Eduard Folayang | Photo credit to his Facebook page
"We've experienced some inconveniences ourselves. In my first SEA Games, there were things to complain about. Our bus was hot, and there was no air-conditioning. There will always be something to complain about.", he said.

"As an athlete, you can't afford to look for luxury. You cannot expect that. You'll be lucky if given a good facility, but having inconveniences is part of being an athlete. You don't go there for vacation, after all.", Folayang added.

Lauded as the face of Philippine MMA who brought home the SEA Games gold in wushu in 2003, 2005 and 2011, Folayang is particularly worried that this criticisms may negatively affect the athletes' attitude and mindset. That instead of boosting their confidence, they may rather feel the cynicism.

The Gold medalist likewise said that he feels good that the country presently have world-class facilities, however if they in anyway center around the negative issues, they are truly going no place.

SEA Games 2019 opening ceremony | Photo credit to the owner
"Instead of boosting our nationalism because we are the host country, some would rather focus on the negativity and shortcomings. There's no such thing as a perfect SEA Games. Regardless of the host, there could be something to complain about," Folayang stressed.

"My point is, being a SEA Games athlete myself, it is really good that we now have world-class facilities. But if we focus on the issues, then we're really going nowhere. Instead of boosting the athletes' confidence, they might rather feel the negativity," he added.

He thereupon stated the possibilities that athletes can be unconcerned and may think that winning is not a priority whatsoever.

"What if the athletes become complacent and tell themselves it's OK to lose because of all the shortcomings? What happens if their mindset turns out to be that way?", Folayang uttered.

Filipino National athletes | Photo credit to the owner
The Team Lakay star additionally emphasized that everyone should set aside on finding the inconsistencies but rather focus on winning first, and then criticisms can wait after the biennial sports event.

Likewise, Folayang stressed on the most important thing to do at the very moment, and that is to take good care of the athletes because they represent the nation.

"To me, what's important is we take care of our athletes. That's what athletes want to feel because they represent the country. Let's not forget the true purpose of SEA Games which is to boost our nationalism and develop unity," Folayang stated.

"The criticisms can come later. There's always something to see and criticize, but as much as possible, it is better if the criticisms happen in the right season.", the Filipino gold medalist ended.

Source: GMA News