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Rene Saguisag: A Filipino has already won an Olympic gold

04:00 AM November 01, 2019

On Charlie Agatep’s commentary “Time to win the elusive Olympic gold” (Opinion, 10/19/19), I have to wonder if there is some way we can acknowledge what Victoria Manalo Draves did in the London Olympics of 1948: winning two gold medals in diving.

The daughter of musikero Teofilo Manalo of Orani, Bataan, made a sentimental journey home early in this millennium, to the town’s popular acclaim. She passed away in 2010. She won as an American, but she had Filipino blood and was an ardent advocate for the Filipino Education Center in San Francisco.

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Anyone visiting downtown San Francisco can easily access the downtown two-acre park named after her, with her unbeatable name, Victoria na Manalo pa.

She and her husband fought racism, she helped Filipino immigrants and she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1969. What else has to be done for us to honor one who is our very own?

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Was it enough that right after winning in 1948, the Manila Jaycees invited her, and she and her husband stayed in a Malacañang suite, hosted by President Quirino, for nearly a month? And they made a side trip to Orani as well.

I fantasize that it is not wrong to say that a Filipino has won an Olympic gold—two, in fact.

R. A. V. SAGUISAG,
Palanan, Makati City

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TAGS: “Time to win the elusive Olympic gold”, Charlie Agatep, Olympic Gold
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