Greatest-of-all-time sports icons — five-time Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci and six-time World Bowling Champion Paeng Nepomuceno — will be together in a rare occasion to give a motivational talk to employees of Procter & Gamble Philippines today.
Comaneci and Nepomuceno are both world-class athletes who aimed to be the best at what they do and worked for it, making them the appropriate personalities who can best inspire the P&G employees to be leaders and innovators in their own field.
Comaneci is the Romanian gymnast who made Olympic history by being the first to score a perfect 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event, while the Philippines’ very own Nepomuceno is a Guinness Book of World Records holder, with the 117 titles he earned throughout his career.
“I think we can all learn a lot from these two world-class athletes. They persevered to achieve their goals and that’s the kind of thinking we want to foster as a company,” said P&G Philippines President and General Manager James M. Lafferty.
“Our people have always been our greatest asset and with our objective to be the best consumer products and services company in the world, we thought of bringing in only the best people to motivate our employees,” he added.
Comaneci’s triumph came at a time when no one thought perfection could be achieved — the scoreboards were not even equipped to display scores of 10. But as Nadia went through her routine, one announcer exclaimed, “She looked like she was swimming on air.”
Named “Athlete of the Decade” by the Associated Press, Comaneci was discovered at the age of 6. She dreamed of competing in the Olympics and worked tirelessly on this goal. She trained six days a week for four hours a day and never tired of practicing again and again until her routines were perfect.
In her Olympic debut in 1976, she became one of its undisputed stars. She was not only the first to score a perfect 10 but actually earned six more and walked away with the all-around title, and a total of five gold medals. For her achievements, Comaneci received the Olympic Order, the highest award given by the International Olympic Committee, in 1984 and 2004, the youngest recipient of this award and the only person to have received this honor twice.
Meanwhile, who would have known that some 30 years ago, Paeng Nepomuceno had to practice on a makeshift lane made of plywood in his home? When he was able to practice in bowling lanes later on, it was the frequent power outages from storms that disrupted him.
Nepomuceno, however, didn’t let the electricity problem keep him from making those strikes. With his father’s support, he continued to roll that bowling ball down a lane made of wooden panels.
Now considered internationally as the world’s best bowler, Nepomuceno has been personally awarded the President’s Trophy by the International Olympic Committee. He also became the first male bowler inducted in the World Bowling Hall of Fame.
P&G has been touching Filipino lives for more than 70 years with beloved household brands such as Safeguard®, Tide® and Pantene® — brands that Filipino households all over the country have used and trusted for years. More than just making products, P&G’s goal is to create superior quality and value that improve the lives of their consumers.
From Comaneci’s perfect routines in gymnastics to Nepomuceno bringing the Filipino name to glory in the international bowling arena, their stories will certainly be ones to inspire P&G employees to greatness.