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The Philippine Skating Union has started preparations for next year’s 2022 Winter Olympics. It all starts with the selection of Filipino representatives for the ISU-Challenger series Nebelhorn Trophy 2021.
The said competition will determine the chances of the Philippines booking a slot for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games set to be held in Beijing, China.
Three male athletes will vie for a seat in their respective categories in the short and free-skate programs. They are PH National Champion Edrian Paul Celestino, 2019 SEA Games medalist Christopher Caluza and Michael Christian Martinez, the lone Filipino ever to make it to the Winter Games so far.
The selection process will be divided into two parts.
The first step is the Philippine Skating Union: Olympic Qualifier Evaluation, an unedited footage of the short and free-skate programs that have been previewed virtually for assessment by international judges.
The event already took place last Aug. 6, 20201, streamed virtually through IGTV, YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion.
The scores will then be combined with an in-person event where the three athletes will individually partake in one international event each.
The athletes’ performances are evaluated through the ISU’s point-based system by ISU-accredited judges. The skater that scores the highest points from both events will be chosen to compete at the Nebelhorn Trophy and be given the chance to compete for a spot for the Winter Olympics.
The Philippine Skating Union remains hopeful that the country will be able to send a male representative for figure skating to the Olympics for the third time, the first being in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
The same process will also apply for the selection of the female elite athletes who will also be given the chance to vie for a spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics, where the federation is currently in talks to add to its female roster.
Established by the Ice Skating Union (ISU), the Nebelhorn Trophy, to be held at Oberstdorf, Germany from September 22-25, is deemed an Olympic qualifier event where only seven slots for the Olympics can be attained. Only one male and one female candidate can be represented from the Philippines for this event. Senior-level athletes are given the chance to demonstrate their artistry, skills and mastery of the sport that can also allow them to earn World Standing Points.