Filipino pride at Sochi Olympics
by FFE Entertainment News Staff
Michael Christian Martinez has already made history by being the first Southeast Asian figure skater to qualify for the Winter Olympics. But the Filipino teen made another breakthrough as he advanced to the free skating medal round on Thursday.
The only Filipino athlete participating in the Sochi Olympics, Martinez gained 64.81 points in the short programme, finishing 19th among the 30 competitors. The top 24 will compete in the next round to be held today. At 17 years old, Martinez is the youngest among the qualifiers.
After his performance at the Iceberg Skating Palace, the crowd erupted to cheers and applause for the Pinoy from Parañaque. One of the commentators lauded Martinez, calling him ‘a very charismatic performer’ and a ‘history in the making’.
Martinez started skating at the age of eight in a mall in Manila.
‘He was shopping with his mother in a mall in Philippines when they walked past an ice rink and he saw skaters spinning and jumping. He told his mother he wanted to try figure skating, and he immediately enjoyed it,’ said in Martinez’s profile in the Sochi Olympics’ website.
Martinez started his formal training in California in 2010 and has won awards in international competitions such as the 2012-2013 Junior Grand Prix in New York and the Crystal Skate of Romania.
Filipino netizens meanwhile expressed their support and pride for Martinez through Twitter:
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