During the 30th Southeast Asian Games surfing competition held in La Union, Pinoy surfer Roger Casugay selflessly let go of the chance to claim a gold medal in favor of saving his competitor and fellow athlete, Indonesian surfer Arip Nurhidayat.
Now, Indonesian President Joko Widodo is thanking Roger for his selfless act in a tweet.
Memenangkan kompetisi dan menjunjung sportivitas itu penting, tapi kemanusiaan di atas segalanya.
Apresiasi saya untuk Roger Casugay, peselancar Filipina yang melepas kesempatan meraih emas demi menolong atlet Indonesia yang terjatuh dalam lomba.
Salam hormat dari Indonesia. pic.twitter.com/5c5CJoccCQ
— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) December 9, 2019
According to the president, “To win a competition and uphold sportsmanship are important, but humanity is above all. My appreciation for Roger Casugay, a Filipino surfer who lost the chance to gain gold to save an Indonesian athlete from falling during the competition.”
The Facebook page of the SEA Games shared the incident, saying, “In the midst of the men’s longboard open competition for surfing, Indonesia’s Arip Nurhidayat broke his leash and was swept away by the waves. The Philippines’ Roger Casugay came to the rescue, setting aside the ongoing battle for the gold. This is how #WeWinAsOne.”
The surfing competition was put on hold following the accident, but Roger went on to win the gold after suffering a broken board early on in the race. Fellow Filipino Rogelio Esquivel went on to win the silver medal.
Later on, Roger said that he doesn’t consider himself a hero. He said, “No, I’m not a hero. I didn’t really save him from drowning. He is a good swimmer. I just calmed him down.”
He was announced to be the Philippines’ flag bearer for the SEA Games’ closing ceremonies on December 11.
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