February 12, 2014

Pinoy Figure Skater Michael Martinez at the Winter Olympic, Sochi 2014

Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines skates at the Iceberg Skating Palace for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.  (Photo: Grigory Dukor, Reuters)

Michael Christian Martinez, the lone Filipino athlete competing in the XXII Winter Olympics Games this year in Sochi, a city in Krasnodar Krai in Russia.

Martinez will perform at the Iceberg Skating Palace on Thursday for a chance to get into the top 24 that will join the final Free Skate program on Friday. Martinez will perform a cut from the 1968 film soundtrack of Romeo and Juliet composed and conducted by Nino Rota. The track contains nine entries including the song “What Is a Youth”.
As the first figure skater to represent the Philippines at the Olympic Winter Games, Michael Christian Martinez considers his qualifying for this year’s Games as the most memorable sporting achievement of his life so far. He was mighty proud as the flag bearer for the Philippines at the recent opening ceremony of the games in Sochi.

Philippines' first representative in the Winter Youth Olympics, as Martinez vies in the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy, a qualifying event for the 2014 Olympiad in Sochi, Russia. 

Michael Martinez, considered as the youngest and most accomplished senior level skater from the Philippines, having collection a total of 194 medals and trophies since 2005. At 17 years old, Michael is up against 29 other top figure skaters in the Sochi games. Despite his youth and frequent asthma attacks, Michael managed to rank 28th among the best senior-level figure skaters in the planet!

"Now that I deserve to represent the Philippines in the 2014 Olympic Games, this meant that I would have to train more and harder. It also entails a lot of sacrifice and hard work on my part, and more expenses for more lessons, not to mention the sacrifice by my family in terms of time and finances," Martinez said.

“Ice skating is really expensive so this will be a big help to pay for coaches, ice time,” said Martinez. He shared to us that he regularly spends about $100 per hour for the services of his coach alone.

The absence of government support compelled Michael to seek sponsors elsewhere. One of his biggest supporters is SM, which donated Php 1 million for his training and other expenses related to his Olympic participation. He was actually “discovered” in SM Southmall in Las Piñas when he was still in his formative years as a figure skater.

Martinez dreams of winning an Olympic medal. He said his motto is to “Dream high and work hard.” He has everything to lose and everything to gain by launching himself in the world’s figure skating rink with only his raw talent, determination and the support of a growing fan base.

Martinez’ determination to win Skating on Thursday for his mother, God, family and country.

Good luck Michael!

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