Ilocos Norte eyes dev't of int'l athletes, hopes for "next Teofilo Yldefonso"Jul 24, 2018
The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) is to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the De La Salle Santiago Zobel School in Muntinlupa City to open a new swimming school at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Memorial Stadium in Laoag City in a bid to improve athletic development in the province.
The MOA will facilitate a partnership between the PGIN, represented by Governor Imee R. Marcos, and the DLSZ administration.
DLSZ offers summer sports and arts programs, with swimming being only one among 14 areas of expertise.
According to Vice Governor Angelo Barba, athletes from the De La Salle Swimming School will personally train Ilocano athletes, which is ideal as Lasallian swimmers have already been representing the country internationally, even winning six medals in the 7th ASEAN school games held in Brunei, Darussalam, last November 2015.
Barba is hoping for the opening of the swimming school at the soonest possible time, adding, "This is a good development for the Ilocos Norte athletes."
Through government-backed development of the athletes, Barba looks forward to a rise of the "next Teofilo Yldefonso, the "Ilocano Shark."
Yldefonso was the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to win an Olympic medal. He was born in Piddig, Ilocos Norte, in 1903, and went on to win two bronze medals at the 1928 and 1932 Olympics.
He introduced the modern breaststroke, and garnered a total of 144 medals from 1921-1937. He died in 1942, during World War II.
Yldefonso's bust is included in the Heroes' Walk along Ablan Avenue, Laoag City, a 2013 project of the Provincial Government to educate the Ilocano youth about the legacies left by past generations.