Palace wishes good luck to lone Filipino in Sochi Games-A A +A
Saturday, February 8, 2014
MANILA - Malacañang is confident the lone Filipino athlete participating in the ongoing Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will excel in figure skating.
Michael Christian Martinez, the first figure skater to carry the Philippine flag in the history of Winter Games, was among the world's thousands of premier athletes on ice and snow presented during the opening ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Palace is confident that Martinez will excel in figure skating despite the lack of snow in the Philippines.
"We hope the Filipino people are behind Christian and his quest for gold at the Sochi Olympics," Lacierda said over the state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
"The Palace is very, very proud of such athletes, and is confident they can excel when given the chance," he added.
Martinez, 17, is representing the Philippines in the figure skating competition.
"Sana pagpalain kayo ng ating Panginoon. Kayang kaya natin yan," he said.
The first five gold medals of the Sochi Games were up for grabs Saturday, including: men's 10-kilometer biathlon sprint, women's 7.5-kilometer and 7.5 kilometer skiathlon, women's freestyle ski moguls, men's snowboard slopestyle and men's 5000-meter speedskating.
The show also opened with an embarrassing hiccup, as one of five snowflakes failed to unfurl as planned into the Olympic rings, forcing organizers to jettison a fireworks display and disrupting one of the most symbolic moments in an opening ceremony.
While the 40,000 spectators in the stadium saw the glitch, Russian state television cut away to air the recorded images showing all five rings joining together and fireworks exploding. (SDR/AP/Sunnex)