Manny Pacquiao, 45, denied exemption to compete at Paris Olympics by IOC

Manny Pacquiao, 45, denied exemption to compete at Paris Olympics by IOCManny Pacquiao, 45, denied exemption to compete at Paris Olympics by IOC
via Graham Bensinger (left), Top Rank Boxing (right)
Ryan General
February 19, 2024
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has deemed boxing icon Manny Pacquiao too old for the 2024 Paris Games. 
About the limit: While there is no specific age limit for athletes participating in the Olympic Games, the International Sports Federation for each sport may impose its own rules. The IOC, which oversees Olympic boxing, raised the age limit for boxers from 34 to 40 in 2013.
Pacquiao’s appeal: In its appeal late last year, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) sought the approval of the IOC to include Pacquiao, 45, in its 2024 Paris Games roster, reported the Associated Press. The POC tried to leverage the Universality rule, which grants special slots to underrepresented countries. If Pacquaio was allowed to participate, he would have tried to earn a place at the Paris Olympics in one of two qualification tournaments that open later this month in Italy and in May in Thailand.
About the rejection: On Feb. 18, the POC released a statement, lamenting that the IOC has decided to adhere to the Olympic boxing age limit of 40, reported Rappler.
“Too bad our beloved boxing icon is disqualified because of his age and that everyone needs to go through qualifiers, in all sports, to be able to participate in Paris,” said POC President Abraham Tolentino.
In its response to the POC’s appeal, IOC Director for National Olympic Committee Relations James McLeod explained that the Universality places for the Olympic Games will not be applied to National Olympic Committees that had over eight athletes in individual sports/disciplines in the last two editions of the Olympic Games (Rio and Tokyo). The Philippines had 17 athletes in the Tokyo Olympics, all competing in individual sports.
Pacquiao’s reaction: Pacquiao, who retired from the sport of boxing in 2021 to pursue a presidential campaign in the Philippines, expressed his acceptance of the IOC’s decision to reject the POC’s appeal in a statement released to the media.
“I respect the decision of the IOC regarding my request to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics,” Pacquiao said in his statement. “While I am very saddened and disappointed, I understand and accept the age limit rules.”
The Philippines in Paris 2024: The 2024 Summer Olympics, also referred to as Paris 2024, is set to take place from July 26 to Aug. 11. So far, four Filipinos have earned slots in the Paris Games, including world No. 2 pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan and boxer Eumir Marcial.
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