Manila 2024, Could it really happen?

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Manila 2024, Could it really happen?

As one of the volunteers in the medical team at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, I really felt excited to be part of such an historic event. I was based in the Basketball arena and the common domain. It was a unique experience. We had a series of inductions and interviews to attend. It was a fantastic buzz to witness such a brilliant line up of sporting stars from around the globe.
Being a part of London 2012 was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

In particular, as I am married to a Filipina and have a passion for the Philippines and Filipino people, to see the Philippines taking part was so exciting. The Philippines has in fact become a major part of my life, I even work for a travel business with a Filipino Brand, Byahe Pinoy. Last night, my boss informed me that the company was supporting the bid for the Olympics to come to Manila in 2024 through social media. This was exciting news and on the back of that, I also wanted to join the campaign.

The Philippines last competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics, which was held in London, from 27 July to 12 August 2012. This was the nations twentieth appearance at the Olympics, except the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow because of its partial support to the United States boycott.

The Philippine Olympic Committee sadly sent the nations smallest delegation to the Games since 1996. A total of 11 athletes, 7 men and 4 women, competed in 8 sports. Four athletes received their spots in track and field, and in swimming by wild card entries. Other Filipino athletes won their spots by participating in various qualifying matches around the world. Three athletes had competed in Beijing, including weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who became the nation's first female flag bearer at the opening ceremony. Among the sports played by the athletes, Philippines marked its Olympic return in cycling, and in judo. The Philippines, however, was not been able to earn a single medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

However remaining positive and moving forward as well as Byahe Pinoy lending its support to the bid, a former Paranaque representative Roilo Golez has recommended the Philippines bid for 2024. Manila has hosted several Games in the past, It hosted the Asian Games in 1954, The South East Asian Games in 1981, 1991 and in 2005. It Also Hosted the 1978 FIBA World Championship, The FIBA Asia Championship in 1960, 1973 and in 2013. Angeles, Bacolod, Cebu, Los Banos, and Subic Bay were joint hosts of the 2005 South East Asian Games.

As a nation, the Philippine economy is growing. According to 2012 International Monetary Fund statistics, the Philippines economy is the 40th largest in the world, and is also one of the emerging markets in the world.

The Philippines is considered as a newly industrialised country, which has been transitioning from being one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. According to the World Bank ICP 2011, the estimated 2011 GDP (purchasing power parity) was $543.7 billion. Goldman Sachs estimates that by the year 2050, the Philippines will be the 14th largest economy in the world, Goldman Sachs also included the Philippines in its list of the Next Eleven economies. According to HSBC, the Philippine economy will become the 16th largest economy in the world, 5th largest economy in Asia and the largest economy in the Southeast Asian region by 2050

The Philippines has been named as one of the Tiger Cub Economies together with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. It is currently one of Asia's fastest growing economies.

I believe that the Philippines has a great deal of work to do to be ready for an Olympic bid, however with the right support and of course investment, the dream of Manila 2024 may yet become a reality.

Its all about dreaming big, the last leader to dream big and really put the Philippines on the map was President Marcos in 1975 Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos offered to hold the Thrilla in Manila bout between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazer. This caused some controversy and some might argue that Marcos was using the countrys money for personal pride, however he dreamt big and undoubtedly the Thrilla in Manila went down in history as one of the greatest boxing matches of all time.

I am calling on the Philippines and Filipino people to dream big once again and support the bid for Manila 2024.

Malcolm Conlan, Byahe Pinoy


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