5 US sport stars who come from the Philippines
The United States is undoubtedly a hotbed for athletic greatness and an excellent cultural melting pot – so much so that some of America’s top athletes are from other countries, such as the Philippines. With this, two unique cultures and histories come together to produce particularly successful athletes.
This is why we’ll look at five American sport stars who can trace their roots back to the Philippines. That way, when you visit https://thebettingsites.com/ph/ for your next sports betting strategy, you’ll know which names to look out for – everyone knows that you make smarter bets when you’re pre-informed. Then, watching the games will be even more exciting when you know you made an informed bet!
Born in San Francisco, Vicki Draves was the first Asian-American woman to win gold medals at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Draves excelled in diving and won her medals during the 10-meter platform and springboard events.
As a child, Draves could only afford to go to swimming lessons once she hit the age of 10, when she could swim for 5 cents a session, thanks to the Red Cross. She was introduced to diving at the age of 16.
Half-Filipino NBA player Raymond Townsend played for the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers. Townsend started his career when he played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins, where he left with all-conference honors. He was the first American-Filipino to play in the NBA, playing in the point guard position due to his 6’3” height.
Though he moved to the Italian basketball league, Townsend was involved in winning the 1984-85 season’s FIBA international cup with Roma, where he ended his illustrious career.
Currently playing for the Utah Jazz of the NBA, Jordan Clarkson is a Filipino-American born in Tampa, Florida. Clarkson started his basketball career in 2009, when he signed with the University of Tulsa basketball team.
In 2021, Clarkson was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Since then, he has played for prestigious teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Aged 31, Jordan still has a lot of potential.
Elizabeth Punsalan, or ‘Swallow’, as was her nickname, is a Filipino-American ice figure skater who first gained traction in 1989 in Sandy Hess, Colorado. She placed 7th in the 1989 Skate America competition and 5th in the 1990 US Championships.
Punsalan won her first US national championship and was the favorite in the 1992 US Championship. However, she finished third place in the championship, due to a fall during their performance.
She performed with her husband from 1992 until her professional skating career ended in 1998, when she retired.
Lee is a half-Filipino Olympic fencer for the United States. She competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games before winning the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games gold medal. Since then, Lee has competed in many tournaments worldwide, frequently winning gold medals and placing herself among the best fencers in the world.
Her mother Teresa immigrated to the United States from the Philippines when she was a child. Eventually, she married a neurosurgeon, who also happened to be the Duke University fencing team captain.
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