Fil-Norwegian skater takes 23rd overall in Sochi

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 20, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – History making Filipina-Norwegian Anne Line Gjersem has taken the ice and finished 23rd overall.

After scoring 85.98 in the free skate program Gjersem final combined score was 134.54 moving up one spot from yesterday.

The 20-year-old, whose mother is from Isabela in the Philippines, made history by becoming the first figure skater to represent Norway at the Winter Games in 50 years.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ lone Winter Olympian, figure skater Michael Christian Martinez, will receive a hero’s welcome upon his return to the Philippines next week.

Philippine mall operators SM group announced it will organize a motorcade and award ceremony for Martinez on Feb. 23 at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay.

Early in his skating career, Martinez frequented SM South Mall in Las Pinas and SM Mall of Asia for figure skating competitions.

His recent performance at the Sochi Olympics placed him as the 19th best male figure skater in the world.

Responding to criticisms over not supporting Martinez’ financially in the Olympics, Malacanang says it has a limited budget and is calling on the private sector to foot the bill when it comes to financially supporting athletes.

Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma said the government’s focus lies with helping the poor.

President Benigno Aquino III suggested that only sports where the country has a competitive edge would get support.

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