June 13, 2024

Manny Pacquiao reveals foiled Olympic dream still burns—but it probably won’t be fulfilled anymore

Manny Pacquiao reveals foiled Olympic dream still burns—but it probably won’t be fulfilled anymore
Instagram/Manny Pacquiao

The fighting pride of Saranggani still wants a shot at Olympic gold.

In fact, it has long been a dream for Manny Pacquiao. And on Friday, as he launched the Pacman-funded Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association, he again made it known that he wants to go for that Olympic gold.

“I’m waiting for that. Excited naman ako jan,” Pacquiao said when asked about the possibility of representing the Philippines in the quadrennial event.  

This time, though, Pacquiao provided just a little more insight on why he still wants to chase that dream—and, apparently, it is not some whim of dream.

“From the beginning ‘di ba sabi ko, nagpunta ako sa Maynila kasi gusto ko masali sa Philippine team noong araw,” the eight-division world champion recalled. “Kaso lang hindi ako nakuha, na-reject ako. Hindi daw ako marunong. So, napilitan akong mag-professional at age of 16. ‘Yun ‘yung dahilan nun. Pero from the beginning ang pangarap at puso ko talaga makakuha ng gold medal sa Olympics."

And so, the cat is out of the bag so to speak. A foiled dream from some 20 or so years ago is fueling Pacquiao’s itch to box in the Olympiad.

Unfortunately, that dream probably won’t be realized—especially not in the 2024 Paris Olympics, where the International Olympic Committee’s athlete eligibility rules specifically state: “To be eligible to participate in the boxing competition of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, athletes must be born between and including 1 January 1984 and 31 December 2005.”

So, yes, it would be cool—surreal, even—to see Pacquiao fulfill what is akin to a lifelong dream, and he would probably be one of the country’s top bets to win a gold despite being over 40 already.

But the reality, no matter how harsh, is that it probably won’t be happening anymore.