Monico pays homage to Butch

Former congressman Monico Puentevella credits the previous administration of the Philippine Sports Commission for its big role in uplifting the state of weightlifting in the country. Photo by Rio Deluvio

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella said the success of their national sports association wouldn’t be possible without former Philippine Sports Commission chairperson Willliam “Butch” Ramirez.

Puentevella said Ramirez’s support was one of the integral factors why the NSA had become successful the last few years.

Ramirez’s term from 2016 to 2022 saw the SWP achieve numerous successes, including Hidilyn Diaz’s victory in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

This term also saw the rise of lifters like Vanessa Sarno, Kristel Macrohon, Elreen Ando, Rosegie and Rose Jean Ramos.

“Butch Ramirez helped our association. We have succeeded because of the help of many people, especially because of Ramirez,” said Puetevella who received the NSA of the Year Award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association during its awards night last Monday.

“I miss him and I want to give him tribute whatever happens to his life after the PSC chairmanship.”

Under Ramirez, the Philippines topped the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and even saw the country take home 52 gold medals in Hanoi last year.

Likewise, it was also during Ramirez’s time at the PSWC when Carlos Yulo won the world championships and pole vaulter EJ Obiena soared to greater heights.

Puentevella said Ramirez will always be remembered as someone who helped in bringing home the country’s first Olympic gold medal.

“Come what may, Butch has been a friend and a man who helped us achieve our goals. It took us more than 20 years to get that gold with our golden girl, Hidilyn Diaz, her husband Julius Naranjo and her team,” Puentevella said.

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