Filipino ice skaters feel inspired by Hidilyn, Pinoy Olympians’ success in Tokyo


Posted at Aug 25 2021 05:08 AM

Filipino ice skaters Sofia Frank, Edrian Celestino and Julian Macaraeg.
Filipino ice skaters Sofia Frank, Edrian Celestino and Julian Macaraeg. From the PHSU Facebook page

Three Filipino athletes looking to qualify for next year's Winter Olympics said their countrymen who competed at the Tokyo Olympics has inspired them, feats that fired them up during training.

Figure-skaters Sofia Frank and Edrian Celestino, and speed-skater Julian Macaraeg said the success of Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial motivated them as they compete in qualifying tournaments for the Beijing Winter Games.

"After watching Hidilyn Diaz get the gold medal in weightlifting I wanted to like get that Olympic spot for myself, too," Macaraeg said in an interview on "Off the Record". 

"That helped me boost my self-confidence and motivation," added Macaraeg, who will compete in the Speed Skating World Cup series for a spot in Beijing.

Celestino, who will compete at the Nebelhorn Trophy, said the Tokyo Olympians pushed him to train harder.
"It is is definitely a motivation surge for me in the sense that it strived me to be more hungry in training harder and getting that successful as well," he said.

"It will be a surreal dream that can be accomplished."

Frank said he wants to prove she could qualify in the Winter Olympics by gunning a Top 6 finish in the Nebelhorn Trophy. 

"If I can get top 6, and really try to get a clean (performance) as possible, get as many points as I can . . . I just want to show everybody I can do that as well," Frank said.

All the 3 skaters are currently training abroad in preparation or the qualifiers.

Celestino is training in Canada, while Frank stays in Colorado Springs. Macaraeg is practicing, meanwhile, is in Salt Lake City.

Celestino and Frank were selected by the Philippine Skating Union (PHSU) after a virtual and in-person competition. 

Macaraeg, who competed in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, 2020 Winter Youth Olympics, and 2021 World Short Track Speed Skating championships, has to finish within Top 32 for the 500 meter and 1,000 meter races or get into the Top 36 of the 1,500 meter race to secure a spot in Beijing.

Celestino and Frank will need to finish at least within the Top 7 in their respective divisions to book a trip to the Winter Games.


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