Manila, Philippines, May 27, 2021: OCA youth camp graduate Cris Nievarez has received a cash incentive for qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic rowing competition.
Cris, who was in the Philippine delegation at the OCA rowing youth camp in Pattaya, Thailand in October 2016, will compete in the men’s single sculls at Tokyo 2020.
The Philippine Rowing Association said Nievarez was given an incentive by two politicians - Angelina “Helen” Tan and Jose Gay G “GP” Padiernos - at the federation's headquarters in La Mesa Dam, Quezon City.
“I am very grateful for the help given by Congressman GP and Congresswoman Helen. Now I will be even better for the Olympics," said Nievarez.
The rower’s mother, Shirley, added: “It’s been a huge help to our family, especially now that we’re having such a hard time in life.”
Nievarez, SEA Games champion in 2019, is the first rower to qualify for the Olympics in 21 years.
Aside from giving a cash incentive, Tan has also pledged to extend whatever assistance Nievarez will need in his preparation for the Olympics.
"May the determination and resilience of our new Olympic idol, despite the many setbacks, serve as inspiration for the younger athletes to strive better and for all Filipinos to never give up," said Tan.
The Philippine Rowing Association also expressed its gratitude for the support.
"We hope that this much-needed financial boost will inspire our 20-year-old Filipino rower to stay focused on training and to keep himself competition-ready for the Tokyo Olympics," said PRA President Pato Gregorio.
"With the help of the government and private individuals, we want to keep this momentum going and move a step closer in promoting the sport of rowing in the country," he added.