For the first time in history, the figure skating event in the Winter Olympic Games will be represented by a Filipino.
Sixteen year old Paranaque born Michael Christian Martinez has earned one of the remaining slots in the men’s figure skating event at the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, slated on February 7-23, 2014.
Competing at the men’s figure skating event at the Nebelhorn Tropy in Oberstdorf, Germany last weekend, Martinez ranked 11th at the short program with a total segment score of 61.55 points and technical element score of 32.81 points.
Hoping to make it to next year’s Winter Olympics, Martinez came back at the skating rink for the free skating full of confidence. He ended rank 8th with TSS score of 127.91 and TES score of 68.13 points.
Martinez ended his campaign at the Olympic qualifying event, Nebelhorn Trophy 2013, on 7th place with total points of 189.46.
Winning the gold medal is Nobunari Oda of Japan with 262.98 points; while Jason BrownNobunari of USA took the silver with 262.98 points, and Jeremy Ten of Canada taking the bronze with 205.56 points.
Other figure skaters who earned a slot at the 2014 Winter Olympics are Israel’s Alexei Bychenko (5th), Romania’s Zoltan Kelemen (6th), Australia’s Kerry Brendan (7th), Ukraine’s Yakov Godorozha (9th), and Italy’s Paul Bonifacio Parkinson.
Martinez began skating in 2005 at a shopping mall ice rink. He trains mainly in Manila and also spends several months a year in California with coach John Nicks, and formerly, Ilia Kulik and Peter Kongkasem.
Martinez figure skating career started when he debuted on the Junior Grand Prix series in the 2010–2011 season.
In late 2012, he was sidelined because of a tore ligament in his keen; and then came back to the scene in the 2012-2013 Junior Grand Prix event in Lake Placid, New York where he landed his first triple axel in the competition.
At the 2012 Crystal Skate of Romania, Martinez won his first senior international title, also a first for the Philippines.
Martinez finished 5th in his second appearance at the 2013 World Junior Championships and set a new personal best overall score of 191.64 points.
In 2013-14 season, Martinez started his season at the 2013 JGP Latvia and finished 4th.
And just last week, he competed for a qualifying spot for the 2014 Sochi Olympics at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy where he finished 7th and earned a spot for the Philippines in men’s singles.
Here’s the video of Michael Christian Martinez’ short program:
Here’s the video of Michael Christian Martinez’ free skating: