Asa Miller of the Philippines competes during Alpine skiing men's slalom of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing, Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)
The Philippines was among the tropical countries and regions that compete in Beijing 2022, with its lone athlete Asa Miller representing the country in Alpine skiing, as its Olympic Committee president believes Beijing 2022 has proven that sports can unite people from around the world.
MANILA, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Winter Olympics has proven that sports can unite people and bring us together, said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Tolentino, also deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, made his conclusion after being in China to oversee the Philippine team's performance in the Games. "Those who did not attend, they missed a big part of their lives," he added.
The Philippines was among the tropical countries and regions that competed in the Winter Olympics. Its lone athlete Asa Miller failed to pass the finish line in both the slalom and giant slalom events.
Despite the loss, Tolentino said the Philippines is happy to join the Olympics and "very proud of our participation."
He said the country will "try to explore more potential talents" in winter sports and looks forward to cooperating with winter sports powers such as China to train their athletes.
Tolentino singled out the story of the country's first-ever Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and her Chinese coach, Gao Kaiwen.
The Philippine weightlifter, under the guidance of Gao since 2018, triumphed in the women's 55kg after smashing her personal best in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, helping her country to win its first gold its Olympic debut in Paris 1924.
"That's one cooperation we want to have with China," Tolentino said, adding Philippine sports associations also expect support from their Chinese counterpart to allow budding winter athletes to train in China's "first-class facilities."
"It will be a big help for us. That will also be a great big help for partnership between China and the Philippines," he said. ■