Mindoreño’s skater daughter excels in Vancouver Olympics

By GoodNews Pilipinas

After the success of JR Celski at the Olympic speed skating event, a Filipino American woman competed in the figure skating pairs competition in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Amanda Evora with partner Mark Ladwig didn’t win a medal but came up with personal bests in their first ever Olympic Games.

The 25 year-old Pinay who trains in Florida, and Mark posted a personal best score for the during the competition.

Their score of 114.06 points, based on difficulty of elements and grades of execution, was their best of the season by more than 15 points. Combined with their personal best in the short program Sunday, their total score of 171.92 points put them in 10th place.

The gold medal went to Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China, who ended a string of dominance by Soviet and Russian skaters dating back to the 1960s. Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China won the silver and Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany the bronze.

Evora is considered to be the first person of full Filipino ancestry to represent the United States in a Winter Olympic games. Her father Vic, who attended the University of the Philippines, was born in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro. Her mother, Mary Anne was born in Ilagan, Isabela.

There have been other Winter Olympians with Filipino heritage representing the US such as Tai Babilonia (a two-time Olympian in pairs skating) and Elizabeth Punsalan (a two-time Olympian in ice dancing) but they were only a quarter and half Filipino, respectively.

Evora began skating at the age 6 and said her dream has always been to make it to the Olympics.

Evora, a five-foot, 99-pound figure skater, has been skating with Ladwig since 2002.

Their silver medals at the 2010 US Championships were their first medals earned together. Prior to that, their best finish was 4th at the US Championships, which they accomplished in 2007 and 2009.

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