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Filipino American Lands a Spot in Winter Olympics PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Monday, 15 February 2010 18:23

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2009 Journal Group Link International)

 

Filipino American Lands a Spot in Vancouver’s Winter Olympics

 

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – Amanda Evora is believed to be the first second-generation daughter of Filipino parents to ever skate in the Winter Olympics. She and her partner shocked their U.S. national teammates when the pair earned a spot Sunday (Feb. 14) on the third day of the 16-day 21st Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. The pair placed tenth in the short program and it was their biggest accomplishment in figure-skating competition in their lives so far. They will return tonight, Monday, for the “free program,” which is Part II of the figure-skating competition.

 

Daughter of Vic and Mary Anne Evora of Houston, Texas, and Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro in the Philippines, Amanda, and her partner Mark Ladwig, out-skated US national champions Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett (Evora’s boyfriend), who placed 14th after Denny failed to execute a triple jump and faltered in other elements.

 

Editor’s Notes: Please read the history of Filipino ice skaters in the United States and Europe in this article, Overseas-Filipino Ice-Skating Stars, which was first printed in the www.yimby.com in 2001 and reprinted in this website in 2007.

 

F ilipino Americans, who were earlier alerted by a columnist, Romy Sager of the Chicago, Illinois-based Philippine Weekly, in his column of the roots of Evora in Sager’s hometown of Calapan, dropped whatever they were doing to watch the pair short-program competition beamed over Chicago by NBC TV at 5:30 p.m. Central Time Sunday.

 

Antonial L. Rey and her sister, Dona L. Hernandez, and their families, who were celebrating the Valentine’s birthday of their late mother, Consolacion G. Lariosa, paused in their own celebration to watch the Olympics competition on TV as they saw Evora and Mark make the cut out of the 20 pairs that took part in the event.

 

Evora will see action again tonight, Monday (Feb. 15), at 7 p.m. Central to take part in Free Skating.

 

Neither Amanda nor Mark had landed in the top three in figure skating in the nation during the last three years. Denney and Barett had finished second in the nationals in 2009 and captured the title last January. The couple was favored to match the bronze won by fellow Americans Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard at the Calgary games in 1988.

 

The teary-eyed mothers of both Amanda and Mark were flashed on TV after the outstanding performance of their children.

 

There have been some Filipino skiers in the 1972 and 1988 Winter Olympics, Sager said, and there have been ice dancer like Elizabeth Punsalan in the Olympics but Ms. Punsalan is half-Filipino, with a Filipino father and with a non-Filipino mother. Amanda becomes the first full-bloodied Filipino to ever skate in an Olympics.

 

A ccording to the Olympics fun facts, Mark Ladwig got his nickname “Fargo” after Fargo, North Dakota, where he grew up and from his favorite movie of the same title. While Amanda’s parents, Vic and Mary Anne, moved to New York City from the Philippines in 1972, where her father attended Columbia University. After ten years in New York, they moved to Bahrain but decided to return to New York before Amanda was born so that Amanda could have an American citizenship.

 

Amanda, 25, is dating teammate Jeremy Barrett -- they've been together for over five years now. She says it's not difficult for them to compete against each other, adding, "Personal is personal. Business is business."

 

Amanda and Mark have never been in contention. Evora and Ladwig finished fourth at the 2007 Nationals, fifth at the 2008 Nationals and fourth at the 2009 Nationals.

 

Ladwig played hockey as a child and switched to figure skating at age 12. In high school, Ladwig lettered in track (he was a pole vaulter), band, drama and swimming. Ladwig married Janet Beverly in 2006, and they became parents last fall when she gave birth to a son, Holden.

 

Evora discovered her sister's ice skates and, since they fit, decided to give them a try. When she was 18, she left her family's home in Texas to further her skating career. Now, she is studying business administration at the University of South Florida.

 

In an email to Sager, Amanda’s father, Vic said, “We are hoping, but not expecting that Amanda and Mark will be in the podium. Currently, they are not ranked in the top 20 internationally so a top ten finish will be a major milestone. But hey, anything can happen and as skaters always say, the ice is slippery.”  (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 

© opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.

 

(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)

 


Last Updated on Monday, 15 February 2010 18:58
 

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