Bambang Pamungkas to be Olympics torch bearer
Indonesia will have four of its own in the upcoming Olympics Games torch relay, which will take place in Manchester, England, on June 24.
Samsung Electronics Indonesia, one of the 2012 Olympic sponsors, has appointed young activist for women’s issues Ika Trifisusanti, national soccer player Bambang Pamungkas, businessman Sandiaga Uno and actress-cum-politician Wanda Hamidah as Indonesia’s torch bearers.
Ika, who is considered “the girl next door” by Samsung Indonesia, told a press conference on Thursday that she was thrilled to know she would be departing for the London Games’ torch relay.
“Before knowing that I was chosen as a torch bearer, I had randomly asked my father whether I’d be able to go to London some day.
The news was like a quick answer from God,” said the 20-year-old from Surabaya, East Java, who had the chance to deliver a speech on children’s rights at the UN’s headquarters in New York last year.
“I’m a lucky girl, and this will definitely be an unforgettable experience,” said Ika cheerfully, who has been an active speaker on young women’s issues, including prostitution and abortion, since
she was 16.
Bambang, the most capped player and top scorer for Indonesia with 83 caps and 37 goals since 1998, said that he would bring his hopes and prayers for the nation’s soccer team to London.
“We barely reached the Olympics. During my entire career, I only played for the team in a qualifier event but failed. So, I hope, my participation in the torch relay will be a start for the national team to reach the Olympic stage,” said the Persija Jakarta soccer club’s iconic striker, who has written a book called Ketika Jemariku Menari (When my fingers dance) and donated the sales revenue to foundations for children with HIV/AIDS and children with cancer.
As for Sandiaga and Wanda, Samsung Indonesia corporate marketing director Liryawati said that the two had been involved in various activities developing many communities in the nation.
“Wanda is a member of KomnasPA [National Commission for Child Protection]. She also takes parts in Yayasan Az-Zahra and Jakarta Bergerak [community groups].
“Meanwhile, Sandiaga leads various groups, including INOTEK science foundation and Indonesia Setara [social entrepreneurship movement],” Liryawati said.
She also said that the four people had qualified for the torch relay because of their intense initiative to develop their own communities.
“A London Games’ torch bearer must be a community catalyst. They are successful people who have done things beyond themselves to develop their communities,” Liryawati added.