Filipino speed skater Julian Macaraeg is eyeing no less than the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, a long-term goal he has been preparing for more than a decade now.
“Competing in the Olympics in Beijing 2022 is my all-time goal. It’s been my goal since 2010 and competing in Lausanne like gave me more experience for the real world, for the real big competition,” Macaraeg, the first Filipino short track speed skater to compete in the 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic, said in ISU Short Track’s In the Spotlight interview.
Macaraeg was also the lone Filipino and one of only two athletes from tropical countries, alongside India’s Akash Aradhya, who entered in the 2021 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, Netherlands in early March.
While competing for the final standings, the 17-year-old Macaraeg sustained an injury on his left foot and was taken out of the rink during the 1000-meter event.
With the absence of the usual support from the Philippine crowd and his teammates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Macaraeg still kept a positive mindset heading into the world championships.
“I just think to myself that since you trained as hard as your other competitors, all you can do is just hope for the best and just see how well you can in the next competition.”
He eventually placed No. 42, which was two spots away from the bottom of the 44-player field, in the overall classification.
The New York-based speed skater ranked 27th and 32nd in the time analysis of 1,500m and 500m events, respectively, and placed 35th and 39th in the tournament rankings, still in the same categories, respectively.