The first Filipino to qualify for the Winter Youth Olympics, Julian Macaraeg aims higher as he years an Olympic spot at the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics.
Macaraeg was born and raised in the United States by Filipino parents who decided to migrate to the US in 1990 to seek more job opportunities.
He kicked off his speed skating career at three years old when his mother introduced him to the sport. At four, he started playing ice hockey, and at 10, he began practicing short-track speed skating competitively.
He has competed in various international competitions representing the Philippines, including the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines hosted. In 2020, he competed at the Winter Youth Olympics, where he was a lone Filipino competitor and became the first-ever Filipino speed skater to qualify for the Winter Youth Olympics.
Following his bid for a spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics at the 2021 World Short Track Speed Skating Championship in the Netherlands last March, where he ranked 39th at the 500m, 35th at the 1500m, and 42nd at the 1000m event, Macaraeg continues to vie for an Olympic spot as he is set to undertake a full-time training and travel to Beijing and Japan this coming October for the ISU World Cups 1 and 2, and fly to Hungary and Netherlands in November and December for the ISU World Cups 3 and 4.
However, as expected, the road to the 2022 Winter Olympics spans a challenging track considering all the imperative demands linking up various aspects of the journey — from training to travel and competition expenses.
The trammels prompted the 18-year old speed skater to launch a fundraising campaign to accumulate enough funding for all the needed expenses in his Olympic journey.
Organized last July 2021 by Carole Moore, the campaign aims to raise a total of $10,000 to cover the expenses for his full-time training and transit to Beijing, Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands for the ISU World Cup events starting from October to December.
As of writing, the drive has raised over $5,000 from 40 donors, halfway through witnessing the young speed skater’s dream to compete at the Winter Olympics come to life, representing the Philippines.
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, will begin on February 4 and ends on February 20, 2022.
You can donate to the Filipino Skater Julian Macaraeg’s Olympic Journey fundraising campaign at his GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/filipino-skater-julian-macaraegs-olympic-journey
For updates, you can reach him at his social media accounts: