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  1. #1
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    The rise of the Philippines in figure skating

    The Philippines (my parents' home country) is a relative newcomer to competitive figure skating. No skater representing the 7,107 islands has ever made it to the Olympics. Ironically, a few skaters of Filipino heritage have: Elizabeth Punsalan, Amanda Evora and Christina & William Beier. But it looks like history could be made soon.

    Last year Chris Caluza finished 21st at Worlds; to my knowledge he is the first Filipino to make the free skate at a major ISU championship outside of Junior Worlds and Four Continents. Michael Martinez just came off a 5th place finish at Junior Worlds, unprecedented for a skater from a country that doesn't even have snow. Both have improved their personal bests this season. Chris will be in London, ON for Worlds, and if he skates well, the Philippines may have its first-ever Olympic figure skating berth in Sochi. If successful, the Philippines will return to the Winter Olympics after a 22-year absence.

    Granted, Chris and Michael have some way to go before they can challenge for medals. But they seem to be in good hands, and who knows? The Philippines may have TWO spots at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Most developing countries in figure skating are lucky if they can produce just one adequate skater!

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    Excellent topic AlexDSSF! Count me in as one who is very excited about the future of skating for the Philippines. Skaters in the Philippines previously seemed so focused on the ISI events, but now it seems like more & more will be making the transition over to ISU competitive skating.

    It was such a thrill to see Michael Martinez place 5th at Jr. Worlds after the years of watching & waiting while the Philippines went through the ISU process. Figure skating is as good a match for Filipinos as their love of musical theater, so I will be hoping for continued good results as their skaters move up the ranks.

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    This is cool news. I love when warm weather countries show that figure skating is not just a sport for peoples in freezing lands.

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    I'm assuming both of these skaters train in the US? I noticed they were both really artistic skaters as well as excellent technicians - do they have similar coaching/training? I will look to watching their progress..
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4rkidz View Post
    Ironically, a few skaters of Filipino heritage have: Elizabeth Punsalan, Amanda Evora and Christina & William Beier.
    I can think of one more: Tai Babilonia. Randy Gardner and she finished fifth in the Pairs competition in Innsbruck in 1976, won the World Championships in 1979, and, of course, made it to the Olympics in 1980 but did not compete.


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    Quote Originally Posted by 4rkidz View Post
    I'm assuming both of these skaters train in the US? I noticed they were both really artistic skaters as well as excellent technicians - do they have similar coaching/training? I will look to watching their progress..
    According to his ISU bio, Martinez trains primarily in the Philippines and only spends a couple of months per year in the US.

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    I am impressed that these two young men have come so far (and have farther to go) under such difficult circumstances- there are such limited resources right now for them at home. Michael does spend months per year here in the US in CA with Ilia Kulik (also some input from John Nicks) - Ilia has such great things to say about what a talented and hard-working young man Michael is. I'm not sure where Chris trains - can someone fill in that info?

    I look forward to seeing the sport get a lot more notice for them at home.
    Last edited by Willowway; 03-08-2013 at 09:59 PM.

  8. #8
    Recovering from the Olys
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    Chris Caluza trains in the San Diego area. Here's a local article on him from July 2012: http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/10394

    Michael Christian Martinez article published in Sept. 2012: http://www.goldenskate.com/2012/09/m...igure-skating/
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Melissa Bulanhagui, a Filipino-American, is now representing the Philippines in ISU events, and has an outside shot of qualifying for the Olympics.

    The pairs team of Kloe Bautista and Tyler Harris had intended to skate for the Philippines (Kloe is Filipino-American), but she suffered a career-ending injury last summer.

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    There's also Alisson Perticheto who is half-Swiss and finished 18th in Junior Ladies at the most recent World Championships.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerek View Post
    There's also Alisson Perticheto who is half-Swiss and finished 18th in Junior Ladies at the most recent World Championships.
    Alisson is actually half Filipino and half Italian, but she grew up in Switzerland indeed (she doesn't have Swiss citizenship).

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    YAY I love Caluza

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    So basically americans who are born in USA, grew up in the USA, and train in the USA skating under a flag other than the USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icedancefan View Post
    So basically americans who are born in USA, grew up in the USA, and train in the USA skating under a flag other than the USA.
    Who cares? It's cool that they're doing well in their opportunities to skate internationally, and as posted earlier, Michael Martinez does skate in the Philippines. And by virtue of their good results, they could inspire future generations of skaters in the Philippines. It's always nice to see new and different flags represented in ISU championships, and expanding the sport internationally can't hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgobluegirl View Post
    Who cares? It's cool that they're doing well in their opportunities to skate internationally, and as posted earlier, Michael Martinez does skate in the Philippines. And by virtue of their good results, they could inspire future generations of skaters in the Philippines. It's always nice to see new and different flags represented in ISU championships, and expanding the sport internationally can't hurt.
    yeah one can just look at Kim Yuna's impact in Korea in FS
    It always nice to have promsing skaters in small federations other than USA, Russia, Japan , Canada etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icedancefan View Post
    So basically americans who are born in USA, grew up in the USA, and train in the USA skating under a flag other than the USA.
    Were country switches a problem for you when it was Tanith Belbin? What about when foreign coaches come to the US to train mainly American skaters?

    I don't see an issue. It's been happening forever, and not just with American-born skaters. Skaters who would otherwise be struggling to qualify out of regionals/sectionals might get a chance to compete internationally and hopefully inspire a few local kids to take up the sport. I'm not going to begrudge skaters the opportunity to compete after years of hard work and financial investment.

    And, as has been noted, Martinez, who probably has the most potential, was born and raised in the Philippines and still trains there for most of the time.
    Last edited by Zemgirl; 03-09-2013 at 07:14 AM.

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    [QUOTE=Zemgirl;3859057]Were country switches a problem for you when it was Tanith Belbin? What about when foreign coaches come to the US to train mainly American skaters?


    hell yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    act of Congress no less.
    What is the point of allowing multiple countries to represent if the competitors only represent in name only.
    These countries should have the opportunity to send their own. Instead it is nothing but wealthy americans taking local's spots. Because they can.($$$$$$$) Half of the female singles competitors at 4 Continents were americans. These girls probably had never set foot in the countries that they represent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icedancefan View Post
    hell yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    act of Congress no less.
    What is the point of allowing multiple countries to represent if the competitors only represent in name only.
    These countries should have the opportunity to send their own. Instead it is nothing but wealthy americans taking local's spots. Because they can.($$$$$$$) Half of the female singles competitors at 4 Continents were americans. These girls probably had never set foot in the countries that they represent.

    Ah, Mrs. Mitchell! Long time, no see!
    Last edited by Vagabond; 03-09-2013 at 08:39 AM.

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    who the #!! is Mrs Mitchel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Ah, Mrs. Mitchell! Long time, no see!
    What they did was total abuse of their position. I don't know who you are referring to but I am not remotely connected to any skater.

    What is the point of having multiple federations-many of whom have little clout-to be only represented by skaters from huge feds like USA, Canada, Russia?

  20. #20
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    Christopher Caluza is one of the most interesting skaters competing at present.

    He's really elegant and presents his programs beautifully. He has the overall package, if there ever was one.

    Quote Originally Posted by icedancefan View Post
    So basically americans who are born in USA, grew up in the USA, and train in the USA skating under a flag other than the USA.
    1. Who cares?

    2. Michael Christian Martinez was born in the Philippines, grew up in the Phillippines and spends the vast majority of the year training in the Phillippines.

    3. I take it you don't mind that it's pretty much exclusively Russian coaches who have built up the US Ice Dance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by icedancefan View Post
    These girls probably had never set foot in the countries that they represent.
    And you know that how?

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