A Filipino in Sochi
TV5 PR head Peachy Guioguio invited Friday night a small group of sports scribes to a live viewing of the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Airing 500 hours of exciting snowy action over television should stimulate the Filipinos’ interest in winter sports, something very different from the sports of the Summer Olympics, according to Guioguio.
Another point of interest in this year’s edition of the Winter Olympics, she added, is the participation of one homegrown Filipino, 17-year-old figure skater Michael Martinez, Filipino-Canadian Gilmore Junio and Filipino-American JR Celski, who won a bronze in the last Vancouver Olympics despite an injury just before the competition that prompted his doctors to advise him to withdraw.
“Martinez is the first homegrown Filipino to compete in the Winter Games, where we have not seen action in 22 years,” Guioguio said.
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Since Russia is famous for ballet, this art form, which has woven itself into the intricate pattern of the country’s rich tapestry of history, dominated Sochi’s opening day pageantry.
The cool, colorful numbers were something new to our tropical eyes.
It was a grand but lengthy opening, graced by no less than Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife.
The pair was very animated, heartily clapping at the entertainment numbers to express their appreciation and waving to the contingents from various parts of the world.
We lost track of the actual number of countries that paraded in Sochi, but just to give you an idea, the parade of athletes, the speeches and the extravaganza took almost three hours.
It was 2:30 a.m. on Saturday by the time the entry of the four-man Philippine contingent was announced. The Philippines was one of the very last to make an entry.
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According to reports, the costly training of Martinez practically drained the family’s resources. While they got some assistance from the PSC and some minor sponsors, word has it that their house in Muntinlupa has been mortgaged. Martinez’s coach alone, is paid $600 a day… Gilas coach Chot Reyes said the MVP Foundation has come to Martinez’s rescue… The “Banana Man” from the D-League’s Cagayan Rising Suns, did not escape without sanction from PBA commissioner Chito Salud. For calling NLEX cager Olaide Adeogun unggoy (monkey), the utility man has been suspended for 10 games which he will serve in the conference. His team was disqualified from the ongoing conference’s semifinals.
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