President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has expressed appreciation for Filipino surfer Roger Casugay for the latter’s heroic act in rescuing an Indonesian rival from being swept away by big waves in a 2019 SEA Games one-on-one race during the semifinal last week.
Jokowi posted a heartfelt message for the 24-year-old man on his official Twitter account @jokowi on Monday morning.
“My appreciation to Roger Casugay, a Filipino surfer who gave up his chance to win the gold medal in a bid to help an Indonesian athlete who fell [into the sea] during the competition,” Jokowi wrote on Monday.
Memenangkan kompetisi dan menjunjung sportivitas itu penting, tapi kemanusiaan di atas segalanya.— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) December 9, 2019
Apresiasi saya untuk Roger Casugay, peselancar Filipina yang melepas kesempatan meraih emas demi menolong atlet Indonesia yang terjatuh dalam lomba.
Salam hormat dari Indonesia. pic.twitter.com/5c5CJoccCQ
“Winning a competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, but still, humanity is above all. [...] Greetings from Indonesia,” he said.
The post has received more than 16,000 likes and more than 3,900 retweets as of Monday afternoon, with many Indonesians commenting that they were thankful for and proud of Casugay.
Twitter account @onwat29 wrote in the caption: “You are a true winner. A winner of the hearts of Filipino and Indonesian people.”
Anda adalah pemenang sejati.— Monika(tapi ga nikah2) (@onwat29) December 9, 2019
Pemenang di hati rakyat Filipina dan pemenang di hati rakyat Indonesia.
Salam hormat dari Indonesia.❤❤❤❤❤#RogerCasugay
On Friday, news of Casugay went viral on social media after photos of him rescuing Indonesian Arip Nurhidayat at Monaliza Point, La Union, in the northern Philippines, were posted on a Facebook account owned by Jefferson Ganuelas.
One photo showed Casugay paddling to Arip’s assistance after he noticed that the Indonesian surfer’s ankle leash had broken and he was being swept away in the middle of the competition and "being pounded by triple overhead bomb waves".
Another photo showed Casugay and Arip standing on the same surfboard while heading back to the shore.
The post went viral with more than 2,000 likes and 6,400 shares.
Casugay won the gold medal for the men’s longboard surfing competition on Sunday. (sau)