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Onyok Velasco Gets Belated Prize for Atlanta Silver: A Chooks to Go Store

Pride of the Philippines.
Just now
Photo/s: Facebook/Chooks To Go

A quarter of a century since winning the Philippines' first Olympic silver medal, boxer Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco was surprised with a prize -- his own rotisserie chicken store.

The business package from Cooks To Go came as the Philippines' record four-medal haul in Tokyo 2020, wherein the athletes won millions in rewards, underscored how Velasco failed to collect all that was promised him for his feat 25 years ago.

Velasco said he had not received the P2.5 million promised by Congress in 1996, following his win in the Atlanta Olympics. He said the P10,000 cash monthly cash allowance was given only once when it should have been for his lifetime. He also has yet to receive the title to his house from the Navy.

He said he was asked to bring his silver medal to the Chooks To Go office on the invitation of company president Ronald Mascarinas, not knowing that he would get a belated prize.

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"Hindi lang bigay ng Chooks To Go, talagang store ng Chooks to Go, hanapbuhay talaga. Hindi lang ako makikinabang, yung pamilya ko, yung mga anak ko, ma-secured sila talaga sa Chooks to Go na binigay sa akin," he said in a Facebook video.

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Velaso said he still watched archive videos of his fight and he believes he should have won against his Bulgarian opponent, Daniel Petrov Bujilov. Sports fans at that time also hailed the diminutive Navy reservist as the rightful winner.

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It took 20 years for the Philippines to win another Olympic medal after Velasco -- Hidilyn Diaz won the weightlifting silver in Rio and went on to win the country's first gold medal in Tokyo.

Fellow boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam equaled Velasco's silver medal finish in Tokyo where another boxer, Eumir Marcial, won bronze.

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