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HomeSportsAlready a ring icon, Manny Pacquiao still yearns for Olympic glory

Already a ring icon, Manny Pacquiao still yearns for Olympic glory


Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao during a press conference for the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Manny Pacquiao joked that he was turned away when he first tried to join the national team because “I wasn’t good enough.”

“I was rejected,” he told an amused audience at the press launch of the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association (MPVA) on Friday.

But behind his smile, the 44-year-old Filipino icon had the firm intention of representing his country at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“I’m waiting for it,” Pacquiao said.

However, securing a place at the eight-division champion in Paris could be tricky.

Pacquiao cannot take the easy route to the French capital, the Asian Games in China, because he is over the age limit of 40.

Robbie Puno, president of the National Boxing Federation (Abap), said that the last path open for Pacquiao would be through entry into universality.

“We’re really trying to make it happen,” Puno said. “He is an icon of the ring who has done so much for the sport and continues to help our boxers and we would like to fulfill his wish to compete for an Olympic gold medal.”

But there are only four universality places for boxing and the International Olympic Committee will consider hundreds of applications from other countries before deciding in June next year who will get those places.

Pacquiao said he has aspired to Olympic glory since he was a child.

“From the beginning, I said, I came to Manila to join the Philippine team,” Pacquiao said. “But I wasn’t picked, so I was forced to turn professional at the age of 16.”

“From the beginning, my dream and my heart’s wish was to be able to win a gold medal in the Olympics.”

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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