Indonesian President Joko Widodo praises sportsmanship of Filipino surfing hero Roger Casugay

Joko Widodo praises Filipino
Roger Casugay (in white) turns back to save Indonesian surfer Arip Nurhidayat who broke his ankle leash. Credits to United Philippine Surfing Association.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo went on social media to thank Filipino surfer Roger Casugay for heroically saving a rival competitor, Arip Nurhidayat, at the SEA Games surfing competition, despite knowing that doing so would cost him a much-deserved gold medal.

Casugay helped fellow surfer and Indonesian competitor Arip Nurhidayat who broke his ankle leash and was swept by giant waves in San Juan, La Union on December 6.

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“Winning the competition and upholding sportsmanship is 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,” Widodo wrote on Twitter.

While the public lauded Casogay’s heroic deed, the Filipino surfer downplayed it saying: “I’m no hero. He’s (Nurhidayat) a good swimmer, I just calmed him down. As a surfer, we have a brotherhood. No matter what happens, if someone is needing my help, I will be there. If you have something to give, you have to give it,” Casugay said in a CNN Philippines report.

The minor mishap resulted in the event getting rescheduled, after which the Filipino and Indonesian surfers battled once again in the same event.

Roger Casugay progressed to the final, where he went on to win the gold medal after defeating fellow Filipino surfer Jay-R Esquivel.

With his act of sportsmanship and heroism, the La Union-born surfer has been chosen to be the Philippines’ flag-bearer in the SEA Games closing ceremonies at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium in Capas, Tarlac today.

SEND cheers to Roger Casugay for his Filipino brand of sportsmanship!

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