Filtered By: Sports

Manny Pacquiao says age 'not a barrier' as he chases Olympic dream

At 44, Manny Pacquiao is still hopeful of making it to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Boxing's only eight-division world champion has started his bid for his inclusion to the Summer Games as the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) formally sent an appeal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the Filipino boxer's campaign.

Although the road to the Olympics is by no means a sure thing, Pacquiao said he is out to fulfill a longtime dream of seeing action in the quadrennial event — regardless of his age.

"I am grateful to the Philippine Olympic Committee under the leadership of Abraham Tolentino for making a recommendation to the IOC to process my eligibility to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympic games," Pacquiao said in a statement.

"I believe that age is not a barrier to fulfill our dreams. A clear heart and mind  always finds its way to realize our dreams."

READ MORE | Filipino athletes qualified for 2024 Paris Olympics

Pacquiao did not have the opportunity to compete in the Olympics during the height of his career, pursuing the professional path as early as 17 years old. As a pro, Pacquiao saw action in a number of bouts such as the ones against iconic boxers Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Now, however, he might have a chance to make that dream happen as the POC bats for his inclusion through the universality rule.

Pacquiao will be unable to qualify through other means as he is already over the age limit of 40 years old set for the qualifiers like the recently-concluded Asian Games.

"I believe that it is not too late to fulfill my dream of bringing home a boxing gold medal from the Olympics for the Philippines," he added.

—Bea Micaller/JMB, GMA Integrated News