In his speech during the recent 2011 Golden Wheel Awards, Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) motorsport chairman Jose Armando Eduque shared a snippet of his conversation with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ricardo Garcia.
Eduque said he asked what it would take for the Philippine government to finally recognize and support Philippine motorsports. The Sports Commission chief replied: "Is motorsport part of the Olympics?"
The obvious answer is no. So does this mean the government will ignore Philippine motorsport forever? Not quite.
Eduque said the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) sent a letter to affiliates worldwide, including the AAP, to relay that the organization is now talking with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to recognize motorsports and add it as a future Olympic event.
Granted that the talk between the FIA and the IOC is still in its gestation stage, this still bodes well for countries that have investments in motorsports--whether as a government- or privately-funded venture.
One person who sees the potential in this is Golden Wheel Awards chairman and Batangas Racing Circuit president Johnny Tan.
"It would be a big leap if in case IOC will consider motorsports as an Olympic sport. A lot of countries in the world will rejoice once an agreement between IOC and FIA is sealed," said Tan. "Motorsports will enter a golden era, Olympic sports will get more attentions from fans, corporate sponsors, and government subsidies will be poured into it since any Olympic sport carries the name of the country whenever there are competitive events."
Tan also weighed in on how having a president like President Benigno Aquino II, who claims to be passionate about motoring, can help local motorsports.
"He can initiate the holding of big international motorsports events to put the Philippines in the world map of motorsports," Tan said. "Through the Tourism department, we can use these international motorsports events to attract tourists to visit the Philippines."
Photo by Mikko David