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SEAGAMES 2019

Surfing hero to carry flag

These Games are not only about medals. It’s about character, resilience, love for one another and shoring up the faith of the person next to you.

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CAPAS CITY — Roger Casugay’s heroics in the surfing event landed him the flag-bearer role in the closing rites of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games this Wednesday here.

The 25-year old pride of La Union, who won the gold medal in the men’s longboard event, will be introduced to the world as he is tasked to carry the Philippine flag in the final ceremonies of the 11-nation event at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium.

No less than Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and chief of mission William Ramirez who picked Casugay as a symbol of heroism of the Filipino athletes during the competition.

“These Games are not only about medals. It’s about character, resilience, love for one another and shoring up the faith of the person next to you, something that Casugay exemplified,” Ramirez said in a statement.

“The SEA Games awakened the bayanihan spirit and volunteerism among us. The very spirit shown by the heroism of Roger who gave up his chance for a golden finish to save an opponent at risk of losing his life,” he added.

Casugay was battling Indonesia’s Arip Nurhidayat in a qualifying race at the Monaliza Point when strong waves swept the latter off his surfboard.

Instead of taking advantage of the opportunity, Casugay jumped to the waters and look for his opponent to calm him down. Race organizers re-set their race the Filipino hero eventually won the gold against compatriot Jay-R Esquival.

“Truly a class act, a solid show of the Filipino spirit,” Ramirez said.

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