Filipino surfer Roger Casugay will receive the Pierre de Coubertin Act of Fair Play trophy in recognition of his heroic deed during the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, where he saved a fellow competitor from drowning.
The 26-year-old sportsman also stands to be the first Filipino recipient of the international award by the Comité International du Fair-Play (International Fair Play Committee). The International Surfing Association (ISA) informed the United Philippine Surfing Association (UPSA) on August 11, 2020, of the award to be given to Casugay.
The San Fernando, La Union native’s inspiring story went viral last year. Sports fans around the globe lauded Casugay for helping the Indonesian surfer Arip Nurhidiyat swim back to shore after his leash got detached during the SEA Games men’s longboard semifinals.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo was among those who praised the Filipino surfer’s outstanding display of sportsmanship.
Organizers decided to do a rerun of the competition due to the incident. Casugay wound up winning the gold medal during the finals.
“It is nice to recognize an athlete not only for his athletic skills but also for his humanity. Holding surfing during the Southeast Asian Games is a milestone event. It paved the way for the ISA to recognize the region and allowed Roger to be also recognized,” said UPSA President Jose Raul Canlas.
His award is one of three trophies that the CIFP offers. The Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy is named after the father of the modern Olympic Games and is awarded “for gestures of fair play in which an athlete impedes his (or her) own performance to aid a fellow competitor.”
Roger Casugay will be granted the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play trophy in a ceremony during the Sportel Gala in Monaco on October 27.
The surfing champ was also chosen to be the Philippines’ flag-bearer in the SEA Games closing ceremonies last year.
Modern-day Filipino heroes come in many forms. Our medical frontliners are working tirelessly during this pandemic.
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SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to SEA Games surfer hero Roger Casugay who is set to receive the Pierre de Coubertin Act of Fair Play Award!
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