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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Basketball in the Philippines Part 1

Defined as a physical activity, an active pastime and also as an instrument of competition, athletic sports has been an essential factor in man’s existence. The early civilizations dating back to China’s ancient past thru artifacts reveal that sports has been part of man’s life way back then. One of the earliest developed sports in China is gymnastics. In Egypt, monuments to pharaohs showcase the ancient sporting events like swimming, fishing, javelin throwing, high jump, and wrestling. Ancient Greek civilizations due to their known military culture developed a much wider range of sports. Sports served as a huge influence in their culture, which brought forth the quadrennial Olympics in honor to the gods and for glory. The Greek’s Ancient Olympics served as a catalyst for sport’s growth and development.

Analyzing the different cultures from different parts of the world and learning that they have their own sports presents a thought that man has a need for physical participation and sports activities. From the Ancient civilizations until today, Athletic Sports has been in existence and has never faded. The growth and development of sports thru the years showcases Sports’ sustainability and its unwavering international influence.

Sports being defined as an active pastime is an activity that involves physical, mental and also emotional participation. The physical aspect helps in the health and fitness of a person or of an athlete. Being involved in sports helps create a healthy lifestyle, a way of sustaining a well-conditioned body that could keep up with the physical needs of a certain sport. The mental aspect of it comes from the thought of how to win or beat the competition in a more logical and knowledgeable way. Pure physicality can’t win competitions, this is where the term brains and brawns come in effect. The emotional aspect is showcased when an athlete gets drawn to the game emotionally. The passion for the sport is more displayed thru the emotional connection of the athlete. Not just for athletes but also for spectators, athletic sports serves as a great source of entertainment. The crowd makes the sport much interesting.

Sports in general not only serve as an active pastime, not just a physical activity, but it is also a universal language. Thru sports, countries engage in friendly competitions and showcase diplomacy. International sports competitions present opportunities to pit together the most talented athletes from different countries and battle for international fame and glory. Sports achievements create windows of opportunities for unknown countries to put their nation’s name on the map. Most of the time, successful athletes gain fame not only for themselves but also for their country.

Sports for the Ancient Greeks served as a steppingstone for glory and recognition. The early Greeks competed in the Olympics to win coveted prizes and to give honor to the gods. Today, persons involved in sports consider being an athlete as an occupation. Sports act as a worthy source of income for athletes. Athletic Sports evolved and has flowed with the times. Today, sports are more commercialized due to the growth of technology and the increase in media sources. 

Due to the development of technology, international sports have served more countries and are more exposed due to the Media’s outsourcing. Today, aside from Movie actors and Musicians, Sports personalities are the most famous people around the world. From basketball superstars Yao Ming of China, Dirk Nowitzki of Germany, to Russian Tennis sensation Maria Sharapova, athletic sports has become an international spectacle. 

The Modern Olympic Games is the largest if not the only sporting event that hosts most if not all the nations of the world. Thru this Olympic Games, every four years, a time for recreation and a break from the conflicts of the world, takes effect as soon as the torch is lit. The quadrennial event that captures the world’s attention serves as a catalyst for countries to display the capabilities of athletes and also presents an opportunity for the host country to showcase their nation’s culture and architectural exposition. Before choosing a host country, candidate nations present proposals of the look of the Olympic site that may be used if chosen. The Olympic Committee decides and picks the country with the best proposal. 

While the Olympics serve as the quadrennial event for International Competition, the Asian Games or the Asiad operates as the quadrennial event for the Asian countries. The Asiad is a smaller event compared to the Olympics due to the lesser number of participating countries. Opportunities are larger for less-renowned countries and continental recognition is easier to grasp. If the Olympics is the international stage of competition, and the Asian Games is the platform for the whole of Asia, the Southeast Asian Games or the SEA Games is the place for Southeast Asian nations to showcase their athletes’ supremacy among the region. The Southeast Asian games have been one of the sporting events that the Philippines dominated and have won numerous times. The SEA Games showcased the country’s greatest athletes thru the years. With the likes of swimming legend and former Philippine Games and Amusement Board Chairman Eric Buhain, to the track and field icon Lydia De Vega, the SEA Games showcased the Philippines’ athletic prowess. 

Patintero, Agawan Base, Tumbang Preso, Luksong-Baka, Luksong Tinik, are games that the Filipino youth play. These are games that may be called local. Filipino kids grew up playing these kinds of games and instilling the value of competitiveness and sportsmanship. These games also served as a preliminary exposure for sports. These local games played in the barrios or barangays played a huge role for local kids. With these competitive games, Strength, Speed and Agility manifested early on the Filipino youth. The feisty competitiveness and the passion to win instilled thru these games served as simple steppingstones for future athletes that aspire for national and international glory in athletic sports.

The Philippines’ passion for sports is huge. Whether as an athlete or just mere spectators, Filipinos crave for sports entertainment and sports achievements. The whole country supports when a Filipino athlete or team is in conquest for success. During the 1950’s Gabriel “Flash” Elorde put the Philippines in the world map by winning a boxing world championship and holding it for consecutive years. Today, Manny Pacquiao has kept the Philippines on the world map. The Philippines gain huge recognition due to Manny Pacquiao’s success. It only shows that success in sports creates large opportunities, extracts a wider range of fame for the country, and also displays the heart of an athlete coming from that nation which incorporates the heart of people from that nation. A huge amount of the Government’s budget is allotted for Philippine Sports’ development, which tells how much the country is involved in sports. 

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