Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Lone Filipino Winter Olympian: Michael Christian Martinez

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Michael Christian Martinez, the lone athlete for the Philippines, is an unlikely competitor from a country without snow. Catapulted into the limelight after qualifying last year, his entire home country, which has never won a medal in the Winter Olympics, is rooting for him. Michael finished 19th overall with a total segment score of 64.81 which means he'll move on to Friday's final free skate.

"I'd love to qualify for the free skate [top 24]; that would be a big accomplishment for me," Martinez, 17, said in an interview with prior to the competition. "I don't know what placement I'll get because my training is so different, but we'll see."

It's likely to be a David-versus-Goliath match-up. Facing medal favorites such as Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and Canada's Patrick Chan, who rank first and second after the short program, Martinez has not benefited from the same intensive training as many of his competitors.

With little support from the government, the family of the Philippines' lone Winter Olympian Michael Christian Martinez resorted to mortgaging their home to send the 17-year-old to Sochi, Russia as the first Filipino Winter Olympian in 22 years. Martinez, whose mother tells Catholic News Service that she reached out to President Benigno Aquino for financial help without response, also overcame an inflamed knee and his family's typhoon-ravaged farm to make it to the biggest stage in figure skating.

“My house is mortgaged. It’s a crazy investment,” said Maria Teresa Martinez, the figure skater's mother."I don't even think anyone at the president's office knows there's a Filipino skating in the Olympics. "It's a gamble, but the teenager from Paranaque, Manila, Philippines is relying on his faith and family's support to carry him to the promised land.

Martinez does not have a dedicated practice rink in the Philippines and has to use a public one, his mother said. In late January, Martinez nursed an inflamed knee, saying it was likely caused by skating on rough ice, according to an interview with Catholic News Service.Martinez' social media accounts show a smile-prone teenager flashing peace signs in photographs and having the time of his life in Sochi.

All credits to the owner of the pictures.

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  1. Interesting article! Keep up the good work.

  2. I appreciate your post because I really like Michael Martinez because of his determination and of course I really like to skate so it serves as an inspiration to other skaters and the others who are just beginning to skate.

  3. I wasn't able to watch one of his performances live but from what I've heard and seen, he must be really good. Considering the fact that winter doesn't come in the Philippines, it must have took a lot of money and training for him to join the Winter Olympics.

  4. I like the topic that you chose to present since it's one of the trending news today. I also like this article because you're able to share something that can make us proud to be a Filipino. :)

  5. Even though I wasn't able to watch Sochi, I am still very proud of him. Even though I don't really like sports like skating etc, I still appreciated the thought of his determination and I am still proud that even though he's the only one walking with our flag while the other countries almost brought a whole parade with them, he still proudly raised the flag the color of blue over red.

  6. Nice article to know about this world-famous Olympian. I am a learner of electric skateboarding ( and want to be a professional one. The content of this article is very much inspirational and now I am learning the basic tips of skateboarding from different blogs. I have also studied different skateboards which are best suited for beginners. Hope I will become a professional one in this game.


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