Fil-Norwegian gets boost from kin, friends in Kuwait

By Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Feb 19 2014 12:19 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 08:19 PM

KUWAIT – Relatives and friends of Filipina-Norwegian figure skater Anne Line Gjersem are praying for her to win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Gjersem's uncle Ruben Bangug is excited about the upcoming performance of his niece at the ladies short program tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. (Sochi time).

"Anne Line, go for gold! We’re praying for you na makukuha mo yang gold na iyan. We love you and we’re here to support you," her uncle said.

The 20-year old Gjersem is the first Norwegian and the only figure skater to qualify in the Olympic event after 50 years.

"Syempre, masaya. Pamangkin ko yan. Kasama ko pa yan yong maliit pa yan. Nag swi-swimming kami," said Bangug.

Gjersem's mother, Perlina, is Bangug's eldest sister. Perlina is second in a brood of nine. The Bangugs were born and raised in Ilagan, Isabela.

Bangug recalled that little Anne and her twin sister Camilla, also served as his flower girls during his wedding. Camilla is also a well-respected figure skater in Norway.

"I don’t think na ganun pala ang mangyayari na nasa Olympic na si Anne Line. I’m very happy and proud," he said.

Bangug prepared a simple salu-salo meal for Filipinos who will be cheering for his niece during her performance in the Olympics.

"Bilang family friend ni Anne Line, we are happy for her and we are praying for your victory," said Dr. Servando Gabato.