All eyes may be on Pinoy athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics right now, but did you know we might have a representative in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics as well?
Yes, you read that right. The Philippines may be a tropical country, but we’ve got athletes who are extremely talented on the ice. According to GMA News Online, three figure skaters are vying to earn the right to represent the Philippines at Nebelhorn Trophy, the last qualifying event for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
The Philippine Skating Union announced that Michael Martinez, Christopher Caluza, and Edrian Celestino will be assessed to determine who will get the country’s lone slot at Nebelhorn, which will be held in Oberstdorf, Germany on September 22 to 25. Seven Olympic slots are up for grabs at Nebelhorn, with 23 slots already confirmed at the 2021 World Championships.
Who are these three gentlemen anyway? You may have heard of Michael Martinez, who’s bidding for his third Winter Olympics appearance. The 24 year old skater advanced to the free skate in his debut at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia and finished 28th in the short program at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Another Pinoy vying for the slot is Christopher Caluza. The 31-year old is a three-time national champion and also has three world championship appearances from 2012 to 2014. He stopped competing in 2014, but came back to the rink in 2018. His next goal? The opportunity to skate on Olympic ice.
Last but definitely not the least is 23 year old Edrian Celestino. He is the reigning national champion after capturing the title in 2018. He represented Canada in international competitions until 2018, but he switched federations and began carrying the Philippine flag in 2019.
With a lot of Olympic qualifying events cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, national athletes are campaigning extra hard, taking every opportunity to represent the country in the biggest stage of them all.