It’s official. Sports5 has been awarded the broadcast rights to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Also included are the 2014 Youth Summer Olympics in Nanjing, China, and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, which is less than a month away.
Sports5 is the sports arm of the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned TV5 network.
One of the country’s foremost sports patrons, MVP was reportedly so excited about the newest and most prestigious sporting acquisition, he beat everyone to the draw with the announcement of the good news in his Twitter account.
MVP’s TV5 also beat ABS-CBN, the only other Filipino television network bidding for the Rio Olympic rights.
The newest Olympic network has no time to lose since the Sochi Winter Olympics opens on Feb. 7 and will be aired at midnight.
A total of 98 medals are at stake in seven sports.
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“While our country is tropical and it doesn’t snow here, there are three Filipinos representing the Philippines in Sochi,” Paul Mata of Sports5 informed us.
“Two of them are Fil-foreigners and one is homegrown.”
Seventeen-year-old figure skater Michael Christian Martinez, who hails from Muntinlupa, will be the first homegrown Filipino to compete in the Winter Olympics, Mata said.
Martinez learned to skate in the SM skating rinks.
More than two years ago when he was preparing for a prestigious international skating competition, I saw him do his act at the SM Mall of Asia ice skating rink.
He was only 14-years-old then, but several people saw great potential in the tall, lanky and graceful skater.
Right now, Martinez is in Russia training and acclimatizing to the harsh Russian winter.
Also participating in the Sochi Olympics are Fil-Canadian long track speed skater Gilmore Junio and Fil-American short track speed skater JR Celski who was in the last Winter Olympics.
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“Celski is considered one of the faces of the US Olympic team in this Winter Games. He recently topped the US qualifiers,” Mata reported.
“His return to the Olympics is an inspiring saga of the triumph of the human spirit. Four years ago just before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Fil-American suffered an injury and was advised to skip his event if he did not want to aggravate the injury. Ignoring his doctors, Celski still competed and took the bronze.”
This time everyone is expecting him to win the gold.