If they can have their way, national team athletes from different sports are in favor of staying at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) and are against the idea of putting the historic facility up for sale.
Olympian Charly Suarez, who competed in the Rio Games last year, is one of those who are against the idea of giving up RMSC, pointing to the historical value of the sports facility.
“Kapag kasi sinabing Rizal Memorial, maiisip kaagad ng mga tao andyan yung magagaling na atleta ng Pilipinas, ’yung mga dating atleta at ’yung ngayon na nasa national team,” said the 28-year-old Suarez.
Rubilen Amit of billiards understands that it is up to the country’s top sports officials to decide on the issue. But as one of the many athletes that train at the 9.3-hectare sports complex, she says there is something ‘special’ about the historic place.
“It’s been home to most of us, including me. It has a soft spot in our hearts,” said Amit, who has been part of the billiards national team since 2005 when she bagged gold medals in the 9-Ball and 8-Ball singles events in the Southeast Asian Games held in the country.
“Majority of the athletes dyan nag-umpisa sa Rizal Memorial… kahit na ano sigurong sports naging special place ang Rizal Memorial. So sana dyan pa din kaming mga atleta; sabi nga kumportable na kami sa lugar e,” she added.
Amit, who is aiming to reclaim the 9-ball gold medal in this year’s SEA Games in Malaysia, said that while there is controversy surrounding the sale, they are focused on the Kuala Lumpur meet.
Tani Gomez of men’s water polo shares the same sentiment, since relocating the athletes would be a challenge since most of them are now working or are studying in Metro Manila.