NORWAY – The Olympic dreams of Filipino-Norwegian figure skaters, Anne Line Gjersem and twin sister Camilla Gjersem, all started in Asker.
Since they started skating at the age of eight, they have devoted most of their lives to the sport that they hope will someday bring them to the Winter Olympics.
This year, one of them made it.
Anne Line is Norway’s bid for Olympic gold in figure skating, breaking the country’s record for being its first contender for the sport in 50 years.
Even if she lost the spot to her sister, Camilla concedes that Anne Line deserves to go to Sochi.
“She has done a good job in her competitions, have been consistent in her performances,” said Camilla. “She is tough, and she performs when it matters.”
No one could be more proud of her daughters’ success than their mom, Perlina Bangung Gjersem from Isabela.
“It’s because they work hard for it, they love it, they have passion in the sport, and they are very determined in what they are doing, so they keep doing it,” she said.
Even if a bit sad that her daughters are competing under another flag, she believes that the girls are Filipina at heart, something that Camilla also confirmed.
“They are born in Norway, so it is normal that they compete for Norway but in their hearts, in their ways, they have the Filipino in them,” Perlina said.
“I hope that the Philippines can see that she (Anne Line) is also from the Philippines,” Camilla said. “Although we are born in Norway, we also feel the Philippines in our hearts.”
Camilla also expressed admiration for Filipino Olympic figure skater Michael Christian Martinez, the country’s lone representative to the 2014 Winter Games.
“He is a really good skater, he has good skating skills, and his jumps are excellent,” she said. “He has improved very much over the past couple of years, and he has good results in the Junior and World Championships, and he has earned a spot in the Olympics. It’s really huge.”
Camilla, the three-time Norwegian champion in figure skating since 2012, also has this message to Martinez: “We can be together at the Olympics, I hope so. I am also working for the Olympics in 2018 and I hope we could be there.”