Filipino surfer Roger Casugay gives up lead for gold to save fallen competitor at SEA Games event

SEA Games Roger Casugay
Roger Casugay and Indonesian Arip Nurhidayat ride the former’s surfboard to the shore. Credits to United Philippine Surfing Association.

The 2019 Southeast Games (SEA Games) proved to be more than just a show of athletic skills at the surfing competitions held in La Union on Friday.

The 30th edition of the SEA Games witnessed a show of heroism, sportsmanship, and camaraderie from Filipino surfer Roger Casugay who decided to forego his opportunity to win the competition as he turned back to help his Indonesian competitor, Arip Nurhidayat, who was stranded in the open water.

Roger’s act gained admiration and praise from people who witnessed the event and everyone who learned about the story. In fact, the story video has gone viral on the internet.

The incident happened right in the middle of the surfing competition at the 30th SEA Games in San Juan, La Union. While both competitors were showing off their surfing tricks, the Indonesian surfer fell off his board as the leash broke off.

When the Philippine team surfing coach noticed that the Indonesian surfer was being hammered and overwhelmed by big waves, he told the event announcer to inform Roger Casugay of what was happening.

Hearing the announcement of a surfer in trouble, and even though he was in the middle of a competition for a gold medal, Casugay immediately stopped his tricks showcase and decided to help the Indonesian.

Delegates and spectators were treated to the amazing sight of the leading surfer turning back to help another surfer in need.

Everyone cheered as they saw the Indonesian and Filipino riding together on Roger’s longboard surfboard on their way back to the shore.

The surfing competition was suspended afterward to address safety issues for the athletes. The event is expected to resume Sunday, December 8, if weather conditions are deemed acceptable.

Once again, a sense of Filipino pride enveloped the host nation of the biennial meet in the midst of an outpouring of praises for the Filipino surfer’s heroic deed, adding to the goodwill of Filipino athletes and SEA Games staff that have been shown to the guest athletes.

Praises for the Philippines have been noted as the people of the host nation have stepped up with the Pinoy Bayanihan spirit to welcome guest athletes and spectators who are in the Philippines for the SEA Games slated to run until December 11, 2019.

SEND your cheers in the comments below to Roger Casugay for his heroic act of sportsmanship and camaraderie that showcase Filipino hospitality as the host nation of the 30th SEA Games!

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Eldan is an experienced online content writer who finds fulfillment in sharing the good side of the news to Filipinos.