(SPOT.ph) After earning a metaphorical gold in sportsmanship and an actual gold medal in surfing, Roger Casugay has been named the official flag bearer for the closing rites of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. The 25-year-old La Union native will be leading a delegation of more than a thousand Filipino athletes—who now have a total of 288 medals as of writing (and counting!)—for the closing march at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas, Tarlac on December 11.
"These games are not only about medals. It is about character, resilience, love for one another and shoring up the faith of the person next to you, something that Casugay has exemplified," said Philippine Sports Commission Chairman and Team Philippines Chef de Mission William ‘’Butch’’ Ramirez in a report by Inquirer.net.
Casugay made waves on December 6 when he stopped to help out competitor Arip Nurhidayat during the longboard meet in Monaliza Point, San Juan, La Union. The Indonesian surfer was swept from his board while paddling out and Casugay reached out to help; The two surfed back to safety. "I'm no hero. He’s (Nurhidayat) a good swimmer, I just calmed him down," said Casugay about the incident.
The competition was suspended for the day, but Casugay overtook Nurhidayat during the semi-finals rematch on Sunday, December 8. Casugay then fought his way to a gold medal in the men's longboard competition, battling fellow La Union surfer Jay-R Esquivel, who settled for a silver.
Aside from the honor of leading the delegation during the closing ceremony, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has pledged an additional P300,000 for Casugay—this is aside from the incentive he gets for bagging the gold medal.
Main image is a contributed photo from Spin.ph.