The Philippines has formed its own team of ice athletes, who will compete with their counterparts from the other 10 member-nations of the Southeast Asian Games Federation in the upcoming 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Winter Olympian Michael Martinez leads the Philippines’ Ice Athletes with fellow figure skaters Allisson Perticheto, Samantha Cabiles, and Jules Alpes. They are joined by the first Filipino lone speed skater Kathryn Magno, who comes fresh from the 2016 Tri-Series South East Asia Cup, where she bagged a gold medal.
The PH Ice Athletes also include the country’s first ice hockey national team—Team Pilipinas, bronze awardee in the recent Asian Winter Games.
Proud Filipino millennials in the games
As it continues to support Philippine athletes, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. (SMLEI) organized a send-off gathering for the Philippines’ Ice Athletes, which will join the rest of Team Philippines that will soon fly to Kuala Lumpur for the games.
Some of the members of PH Ice Athletes faced invited media members in the press conference/send-off held on July 27 at the SM Megamall Skating Rink. SMLEI is the sole company in the country that operates Olympic-size ice rinks under its own brand SM Skating.
“It gives us great pleasure to see our country, much more our home-grown athletes, participate in such a well-renowned event,” said SMLEI President Edgar Tejerero. “We at SMLEI have been long supporters of our ice athletes, and we are proud to be part of their journey towards international success.”
First winter sports in SEA Games
For the first time since it started in 1959, SEA Games is introducing its first set of winter sports—ice skating, ice hockey, and speed skating. Thus, there will be 39 sports in total that will be contested by regional athletes in this edition.
This year, the biennial multi-sport regional event will be held in Malaysia, which will be hosting the games for the sixth time since 1965. SEA Games is scheduled from August 19 to 31.
Ice Hockey events in the SEA Games are set from August 20-24; Figure Skating competition will run from August 26-77; and Short Track Speed Skating competition will be facilitated from August 30-31.