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Joseph Eric Buhain (born April 12, 1970) is the chairman of the Philippines' Games and Amusement Board. Buhain is also a champion swimmer, winning several Southeast Asian Games medals for the Philippines and participating in the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics.
Eric ventured into swimming not because he dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal, but because of his doctor's advice to improve his lungs. Eric was born with Primary Lung Complex. He enrolled in a two-week swimming program at the age of seven. Yet his training was breached by another illness, hepatitis. However, this didn't stop him; a year later he was training again and taking the advance course in swimming, the competitive course, at age nine. It was at this age that he got into the varsity swimming team of De La Salle Santiago Zobel School and vowed to win a gold medal in the sport.
By 1981, he was a member of the Philippine Team and swam in the 400-meter individual medley at age eleven. But it was in his first Southeast Asian Games in 1985, held in Bangkok, Thailand, where he snatched the gold in the same category at the age of fifteen. He participated in the 1988 Summer Olympics and was also chosen as the country's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies.
In the 1989 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Buhain broke one of the existing SEA Games swimming records. In the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, where the Philippines was the host, he made a huge contribution to the gold medal record of the host country by winning most of the events in swimming. He was chosen to represent the Philippines in the 1992 Summer Olympics. He didn't win any medals in that sporting event.
Even though he won several gold medals in the 1993 Southeast Asian Games, Buhain decided to retire from his swimming career. He was disappointed by the poor government management that led to a mediocre performance of the Philippines team in that sporting event.
In 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Buhain as the chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission after learning of the Philippines poor international ranking in sports. He instituted reforms that led to protests by some commissioners and employees. In 2003, the Philippines increased its rank in the medal tally in the Southeast Asian Games and the country won several medals in the 2002 Asian Games after getting only a bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games.
Barely six months before the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, he was appointed by President Arroyo as the chairman of the Games and Amusement Board, a public agency that handles professional sporting and gambling events.