87-year-old former weightlifter relates to Hidilyn's hardships: It's really hard to get sponsors

Published August 1, 2021, 12:08 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from Shana Rocamora Ramirez’s Facebook account

The granddaughter of the only Filipino weightlifter who competed in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics took to social media to honor his past accomplishments, especially after Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first gold in the Games.

Artemio Rocamora placed 19th in the men’s lightweight division of Tokyo’s first Summer Games hosting, but Shana Ramirez said his grandfather who a month ago turned 87 years old endured the same financial struggles as Diaz.

“Siya ay 87 years old na ngayong taon at gusto lamang namin na habang andito pa siya at nabubuhay ay mabigyan siya ng pag-alala sa nauwi nyang karangalan sa ating bansang Pilipinas noon,” Ramirez said on her Facebook page.

“I am hoping to voice out his legacy since he is now too old and as he saw Hidilyn Diaz compete and bring home the gold, he was so amazed and remembered his journey. Nakarelate siya kasi totoo mahirap humanap ng sponsors.”

Ramirez added that Rocamora had to juggle between his duties with the Air Force and as a national team member in order to earn a living.

“Nahirapan daw sya mag-focus noon kasi at the same time kailangan nyang kumayod para itaguyod ang pamilya. We will never get tired of listening to his stories,” Ramirez said.

“Ang masakit na part lang, Sana nabigyan din sila ng sapat na suporta at pagkilala noong panahon na binuhat din nila at dinala ang Pilipinas noon.”

Rocamora and Diaz are among the 16 weightlifters who represented the country in the Summer Games.

 
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