RP skaters eye Winter Olympics

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2009 09:32 AM | Updated as of Mar 16 2009 05:32 PM

Philippine team ice skaters Michael Dimalanta and Gracielle Jeanne Tan have their eyes set on becoming the first athletes from the Philippines to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Ric Camaligan, president of the Philippine Skating Union, said Dimalanta and Tan promised to give their all in an upcoming qualifier this month, as stated in a report on Sportsnews.ph.

The two Filipino-American skaters will compete in the World Skating Championships from March 23 to March 29 in Los Angeles, United States. The top 24 skaters in the men's and women's divisions will automatically qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Dimalanta became eligible to represent the country in the LA qualifying event after winning the 2008 National Open senior’s division.

“He knows that at his age, he should be already performing well and we are confident that Michael can make it in the Olympics since he can now do a quadro (quadruple),” said Camaligan.

“In the US, if you’re a triple spinner, you’re already the talk of the town. Past champions were also quadro spinners,” he added in the Sportsnews.ph article.

Dimalanta also competed for the Disney on Ice team, and played for the US team in some regional tournaments.

Camaligan added that Dimalanta is working hard to fulfill his dream of competing in the Winter Olympics.

“He's practicing 12 hours a day with his Filipino father, eight hours in Anaheim skating rink club and four hours off the rink. He's doing everything because we think this is the right time for him to be in the Olympics,” said Camaligan.

Meanwhile, RP team member Tan also competed in major international championships such as the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships held in Goteborg, Sweden.