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Pinoy conquers elite sport

By: Malou Guanzon Apalisok - CDN Digital | December 08,2019 - 06:01 AM

The medals hauled by Filipino athletes in the 30th Southeast Asian Games continue to mesmerize, more so yesterday after the tally showed a lopsided score in favor of the host country – 85 gold, 63 silver and 64 bronze for a total of 212 medals.

Indonesia and Vietnam tied in the medal standing although Indonesia has racked up 50 gold, two more compared to Vietnam.  Indonesia got 48 silver and 53 bronze while Vietnam had 42 gold, 48 silver and 61 bronze. 

The Pinoy athletes’ successes in various sporting events are both stunning and impressive and certainly deserving of all the praises and rewards but it is the triumph of Carlos “Caloy” Yulo in men’s artistic gymnastics MAG that will continue to captivate the national imagination. 

Before Caloy, the only artistic gymnast I know is Romanian multi-Olympic champion Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to be awarded with the mythical perfect score of 10 points during the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Considered as the foremost exponent of artistic gymnastics in all genders, Nadia has triumphed in 9 Olympics, winning five gold, three silver and one bronze plus many more crowns and scepters in World Championships and European events.  One of my favorite tunes during this era is the haunting “Nadia’s Theme” played by Henri Mancini and his orchestra.  The music is associated with Nadia although it was composed by Barry de Vorzon for the 1976 movie, “Bless The Beasts and the Children.”  The pop instrumental later became the theme for the US TV drama, “The Young and the Restless.”

Russians used to dominate artistic gymnastics in the 1950s before the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 simply because the Soviet government spent heavily in sports development to push its political agenda in the world stage. 

After the breakup of the Soviet Republic in 1992, former SSR athletes showed gymnastic excellence in world championships.  However, the Soviet legacy has waned based on the results of world championship events in the mid to late 1980s when American gymnasts, previously considered as “second power” began showing their mettle in the elite sports. 

The current star in the artistic gymnastics world is American Simon Biles, the 2016 Olympic individual all-around, vault and floor gold medalist and balance beam bronze medalist. 

“Having won a combined total of thirty Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and the third most decorated gymnast of all time, behind Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus (33 medals)” (from Wiki).

 Interestingly, it was in October this year when Biles surpassed Scherbo’s record after he lost to Carlos Yulo in the men’s floor exercise during the World Championship competition in Stuttgart.

So how did Caloy manage to get into the elite company dominated by Russians, athletes of former Soviet Republics and American gymnastics stars?  A boyhood watching gymnasts train and compete in the Rizal Memorial Complex in Malate, Manila helped hone his natural gift.  While taking up primary education, he became part of the national gymnastics team competing in the Palarong Pambansa.  Thanks to the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, he was able to study in Adamson University for his secondary education.  In 2018, an offer for him to train under Munehiro Kugimiya through the Japan Olympic Association fell on Caloy’s lap and as the cliche goes, the rest is history.

Incidentally, Japan was largely dominant in MAG during the 1960s and 1970s, winning every Olympic team title from 1960 through 1976 thanks to individual gymnasts such as Olympic all-around champions Sawao Kato and Yukio Endo. Several innovations pioneered by Japanese gymnasts during this era have remained in the sport, including the Tsukahara vault. Japanese male gymnasts have re-emerged as a team to reckon with since winning a team gold at the 2004 Olympics. Six-time world champion and Two-time Olympic All-around gold medalist Kohei Uchimura is widely considered to be the best all-around gymnast ever (lifted from Wiki).

When Caloy trained in Japan three years ago, the prospect of getting a slot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was remote. How fortuitous that he is immersed in the Japanese environment as he prepares for the campaign of a lifetime – winning the Olympic gold! 

***

Tomorrow, Monday (December 9) the Cooperative Development Authority is calling a National Summit Conference of Cooperatives to hear out stakeholders’ feedback on Joint Administrative Order 1-2019 issued by the Department of Finance and the Cooperative Development Authority. 

Under Section 1 of the JAO, all types and categories of cooperatives registered with CDA and were issued with Certificate of Tax Exemption (CTE) by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) shall submit to the Authority a complete Annual Tax Incentives Report of their income-based tax incentives, value-added tax and duty exemptions, under RA No. 9520 as mandated under Section 4, paragraph (2) of RA No. 10708 and Section 3 of RA No. 10963, otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN Law).

The deadline for submission of Annual Tax Incentives Report covering the taxable year 2018 shall file and submit said tax reports to the respective CDA Extension Offices was July 31, 2019. Failure to submit the Tax Incentive Report to the Authority shall be meted a penalty stipulated under Rule IV, Section 1 of the said JAO.

I heard that former Cebu Governor Pablo Garcia, who has since stepped down from his helmsmanship of the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative and now acts as chief legal mind of Cebu’s biggest cooperative, views the JAO as a violation of the provisions of RA 9520 or the Cooperative Code of 2008 which guarantees tax exempt privileges for co-ops.  In other words, the JAO has the effect of amending or repealing the tax privilege and adversely affects all cooperatives in the country.

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