PASIG CITY, Philippines – Not all heroes wear capes and no heroic deed left unnoticed.
Filipino surfer Roger Casugay made some heroic act when he helped his opponent to safety in the middle of their match in the Men’s Long Board category in the Surfing Competition in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Casugay was on his way to win his third match when he stopped and turned back to help Indonesian opponent Arip Nurhidayat who was swept to the open waters after his ankle leash broke in San Juan, La Union.
For his deeds, Casugay earned the appreciation from the Indonesian people, most especially Indonesian president Joko Widodo who twitted on Monday his gratitude to the unselfish act displayed by Filipino surfer for helping Nurhidayat to safety.
“Winning the competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, but humanity is above all. My appreciation for Roger Casugay, a Filipino surfer who gave up the golden opportunity to help an Indonesian athlete who fell during the race. Greetings from Indonesia,” Widodo said in his tweet.
This post attracted 4,929 retweets, 21 thousand likes and 551 comments mostly coming from the Indonesian people.
One comment coming from @omicasano called Casugay a true champion.
“Roger Casugay you are the true champion, this is the meaning of a match. Sport, struggle, togetherness and unity between countries.”
Another comment from Djan Choek Koen @DjanChoek said Casugay deserves a gold medal.
“Roger Casugy deserves a gold medal, not just a medal from the match but a gold medal from all the people of Indonesia.”
Most of the comments from Indonesians, called for Widodo to invite Casugay to his palace and award the Filipino surfer a gold medal for Humanity.
For his deed, POC tasked Casugay as the country’s flag-bearer on the Closing Ceremony scheduled on Wednesday (Dec. 11) at the New Clark City Stadium.
The Philippines Sports Commission, on the other hand, will be giving Casugay cash incentives and a plaque of appreciation for his exemplary display of sportsmanship.
“Casugay’s action embodies the Filipino athlete’s true spirit of heroism, sportsmanship and sacrifice,” Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said.
Casugay did win the longboard gold medal since the competition was rescheduled to Sunday (Dec. 8) as it was suspended on Friday (Dec. 6) because of the dangerous situation of the seas.
At the resumption of the event, Casugay eventually defeated Nurhidayat and topped compatriot Rogelio Esquivel for the Philippine’s first gold in Surfing./RCM