PHL set for Beijing Winter Olympics; FilAm Asa Miller is country’s bet in 2 events

FILAM SKIER Asa Miller of Portland, Oregon

MANILA/PORTLAND – Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino aired hopes for victory in the Beijing Winter Olympics which opens on February 4.
Tolentino made known his expectations as guest at the Kamuning Bakery Cafe Pandesal Forum.
The Philippines’ lone bet in the Beijing games is Filipino American alpine skier Asa Miller, 21, who was born in Portland, Oregon but his roots are in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Miller met the qualification threshold for the slalom and giant slalom events.

Officials hope Brandon Leitner, a 17-year-old skier, would also make the cut should the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) earn another slot.

During the forum, Tolentino disclosed the health and safety protocols to be implemented for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

Tolentino, a member of the House of Representatives from the 8th district of Cavite province, said just getting cleared to enter the bubble is already stringent enough.

“As we come from the outside, we will be having two RT-PCR (tests before leaving, 96 hours before and 72 hours before). That’s what I’ve learned. Then when you arrive, [there will be] another RT-PCR test,” Tolentino said.
He said those who would test positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) will be isolated in different areas depending on whether they have symptoms or not.

Asymptomatic patients will be billeted in a dedicated hotel, while the symptomatic ones will be heading to a hospital for treatment.

“After 3-4 days, you will be out if you’re negative,” Tolentino revealed how Covid-19 patients would only be cleared.

He also said “we are going to have twice-a-day Covid tests everyday,” which is stricter than last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where the delegation only got to be tested once per day.

Tolentino said local citizens in Beijing are not allowed to help if the official transportation of the athletes needs to be fixed on the road.

Bones Floro, who has been named chef de mission for Asa Miller’s bid to give the country an Olympic medal in back-to-back years, somehow summarized everything in one statement.

“Once we enter, we cannot leave,” said Floro, the grandson of former Crispa Redmanizers owner Danny Floro, in jest.

Turning serious, the National Golf Association of the Philippines secretary general added, “We have to protect ourselves and the Chinese people. They’re gracious enough to host it, and we are all guests in their country, so we have to do our part.”

Miller, who will compete in two alpine skiing events, will arrive in the Chinese capital on Jan. 30 and will quickly enter the designated bubble for the sport in the city’s Yanqing District once cleared for action.

Miller will first compete in the men’s giant slalom event on Feb. 13 and will return on Feb. 16 for the men’s slalom.
Miller  also raced for the Philippines in the 2018 edition in Pyeongchang, South Korea and placed 70th of 110 giant slalom participants..

He is also expected to be the country’s flag bearer in the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Feb. 4.