For a country such as the Philippines, where there is no snow in sight, winter sports are hardly ever mentioned. That’s why it’s all the more amazing when Filipinos are actually able to start a conversation in the international ice-covered stage that is the Olympic Winter Games.
Last January 28, Asa Miller, alongside the Philippine delegation, left for Beijing to take part in Olympic events for alpine skiing, competing in both the men’s slalom and giant slalom categories. Miller was the only athlete to successfully qualify for this year’s Olympics, thus serving as the Philippine’s sole competitive representative in Beijing 2022.
In light of the Philippines’ participation in the 2022 edition of the world’s most prestigious winter sporting events, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines and the Philippine Silk Road International Chamber of Commerce organized a virtual discussion panel named “A Memorable Winter Olympics: Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 Forum.” Hosted by Valerie Tan of CHiNOY TV, the online forum held on February 23 featured distinguished speakers from both China and the Philippines to celebrate their collaborative efforts in building a better and more sustainable future both on-and-off the athletic stage.
Speakers in the forum included Amb. Francis Chua, H.E. Huang Xilian, H.E. Amb. Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, Hon. Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr., Hon. Sec. Ramon M. Lopez, Hon. Sec. Bernadette Romulo Puyat, Ms. Ye Chang, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, Mr. Valeriano Floro, Mr. Jim Apelar, Ms. Nikki Cheng, Mr. Deng Jun, Mr. Daniel Liu, Mr. Lu Jianzhong, and Mr. William Chenglay Jr.
Faster, higher, stronger, together
After a round of welcoming remarks by Amb. Francis Chua, H.E. Huang Xilian of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines began the online forum with a celebration of Beijing 2022, which marked the first time for a city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Quoting Beijing 2022’s Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together,” Huang also congratulated Asa Miller for his achievements of allowing the Philippines to be recognized as a developing body for the winter sports and acknowledged the growing relationship between both China and the Philippines.
“On this occasion, I would like to congratulate Filipino alpine skier Asa Miller for his spectacular presence in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. His love and efforts for [winter] sports and his impressive accomplishments as the sole representative of the Philippines in the 2022 Beijing Olympics, [as well as his] being part of the small number of athletes representing tropical countries in the ASEAN region on the [Olympic] Winter Game stage is something to be truly proud of. Miller’s Olympic journey not only connects the friendship between China and the Philippines but will also kindle more Filipino enthusiasm for [winter] sports and inspire more Filipino athletes to stand on the stage of the future Winter Olympics,” said Huang.
Carrying on a similar vein, several key speakers also spoke of the Philippines’ developing future in winter sports. As the country head of Bank of China Manila, Mr. Deng Jun explained multiple projects that have already seen action:
“One month ago, on January 22, it was our great honor for Bank of China Manila to organize the notable hybrid event named ‘Together for a Shared Future’ with the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Skating Union, and the SM Supermalls to promote the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
“During the launch event, we showcased some of the best Filipino skaters in the newly opened SM Mall of Asia skating rink, which the Bank of China helped open together with SM Supermalls. We want to continue the momentum by enabling the younger generation. To that end, the bank is proud to sponsor skating clinics for the Filipino youth, all of whom are aspiring Olympians determined to make a mark in sports.”
As the forum continued on a related note of international solidarity, Mr. William Chenglay, Jr., president of the Filipino-Chinese Columnist Association, concluded the session with his acknowledgment of the continued friendship between the two countries. “We have witnessed how China and the Philippines have had a strong relationship for over a thousand years. Our nations have developed ties that go beyond being neighbors and are now like friends and family members.”
To watch the full version of the forum, be sure to check out CHiNOY TV’s official Facebook page!