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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has named Switzerland-based Filipina skier Laetaz Amihan Rabe as the country’s flag bearer for the 2024 Winter Youth OIympics starting this Friday, January 19, in Gangwon, South Korea.
The 14-year-old prospect will be the Philippines’ lone athlete representative in the opening ceremony as her fellow Olympian, 16-year-old Peter Groseclose, will be competing in the 1,500-meter short track speed skating on Saturday, January 20.
The country’s third and final representative, 16-year-old Avery Balbanida, will only arrive in South Korea next Thursday, January 25, as his cross-country skiing event is slated near the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Rabe’s first event – women’s slopestyle – also comes a bit later on Wednesday, January 24, so the POC found it fitting for her to take on flag-bearing duties.
“Her initial reaction when I passed the message that she’s the flag bearer were her super big eyes, her jaw dropping,” said Rabe’s father Ric.
“She’s astounded and she asked how to wave best.”
Groseclose will be the busiest of Filipino trio right out of the gate as he will also compete in the 1,000-meter speed skating on Sunday, January 21, and in the 500-meter event on Monday, January 22.
Rabe, meanwhile, will also compete in the free ski big air event on January 28, giving the small Philippine delegation six chances to nab the country’s first-ever Winter Games medal.
Groseclose, Rabe, and Balbanida are already the biggest Filipino team ever in the Winter Games after a pair of two-member squads in 2012 and 2020.
Throughout the history of the Youth Olympics, the Philippines has only won two Summer Games medals so far – one silver in 2018 and one gold via mixed-National Olympic Committee participation in 2014. – Rappler.com