by Nick Giongco
Chairman Richie Garcia of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has been appointed as chief of mission to the 17th Asian Games in South Korea, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said yesterday.
POC secretary-general Steve Hontiveros made the announcement on instructions of POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr., who wants an early preparation for the Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, 2014 sportsfest that will be hosted by the city of Incheon.
The appointment was made even before the Southeast Asian Games is held in December this year and more than a year before the actual event in South Korea signifying the POC’s intent to improve the country’s fortunes in Asia’s biggest sports competition.
“I am thankful for the trust and confidence being given to me by the POC,” said Garcia, admitting that the coveted post carries “a big responsibility.”
Besides Garcia, POC chairman Tom Carrasco and POC treasurer Julian Camacho were also considered for the post.
Garcia said the POC’s decision to name him means that Cojuangco wants to see the PSC and POC put the Asiad quest in motion immediately.
“We’d like to identify talents at the soonest possible time so they can train and hone their skills,” said the 67-year-old Garcia, who plans to name some members of the national team as early as January.
Thirty-six sports, majority of these Olympic sports, will be played in Incheon and 437 gold medals will be up for grabs.