1st Filipina in Winter Youth Olympic Games Ana Wahleithner achieves dream of carrying Philippine flag

Ana Wahleithner
Ana Wahleithner (Center) proudly carries her nation’s colors at the Parade of Nations of the Lausanne 2020 Winter YOG. Screengrab from Lausanne 2020 Opening Ceremonies on YouTube.

The first Filipina skier to qualify for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), Ana Wahleithner, has achieved her dream of having the honor of carrying the Philippine flag during the opening ceremonies held early today.

Ana Wahleithner, who had just turned 17 years old in December 2019, was visibly excited as she carried her nation’s colors during the Lausanne 2020 Winter YOG Opening Ceremonies Parade of Nations held in Switzerland in the evening of January 9, 2020 (January 10 AM Philippine Time).

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Ana even waved to the camera as she walked inside the Lausanne’s Vaudoise Arena while holding the pole of the Philippine flag in between Netherlands and Poland, two countries unlike the warm-weather Philippines which the Youth Olympic Games refer to as a “nation without a winter sports pedigree“.

“Proud to represent my country, Philippines ❤🇵🇭 and carry the flag at tonight’s 2020 Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland. Also a picture with my coach at the Olympic Flame,” posted Ana on her social media after the ceremonies witnessed by over 8,000 spectators earlier today, referring to her coach Mamie Phelan.

“I am very honored to represent the Philippines and show that Filipinas can be in the Winter Olympics. Getting to the Olympics was a big dream of mine. I have the opportunity to do it and I am focusing on that goal. I believe in appreciating your opportunity and doing your best since there are many who are supporting you in many ways as you go through the journey,” Ana said in an exclusive GoodNewsPilipinas.com interview ahead of the games.

Filipino-American Ana Noelle Reynado Wahleithner was born to a Filipina mother, Angela of Davao, and holds an International Ski Federation (FIS) license registered under the Philippines after amassing points in FIS-sanctioned races in 2019 to secure the berth at the 2020 Winter Olympics.

“So happy to see Ana’s dream come true. At 10 yrs old, she said, ‘Mom, I want to do that, I want to carry the flag.’ She is now living her dream,” wrote Angela Wahleithner in her Facebook post.

Ana Wahleithner will complete in the following Alpine Ski events:
* Womens Giant Slalom on January 12
* Womens Slalom on January 14

Alpine skiing events are to be held at Les Diablerets where Ana, a junior student at California’s Sugar Bowl Ski Academy, has been training.

Alpine skier Ana Wahleithner has put the Philippines on the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games map. Photo from Angela Wahleithner.

Fellow Philippine athlete Julian Silverio Macaraeg will compete in the Short Track Speed Skating.

The two young athletes are among the 1,872 competitors and are set to represent the Philippines as one of the 79 nations taking part in the 3rd edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games scheduled from January 9-22, 2020.

The Philippine Ski Federation noted that the last time they sent athletes to the Winter Youth Olympic Games was in 2012 in the inaugural Insbruck Winter YOG courtesy of Fil🇨🇭-based alpine skier Abel Tesfamarian and figure skater Michael Christian Martinez.

The Philippine participation in the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games kicks off the year’s great sporting events where Filipinos will compete.

SEND well wishes in the comments below for Ana Wahleithner and the Philippine delegation to the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.