Michael Martinez returns home, holds figure skating camps
posted June 24, 2016 at 08:10 pm
By Enna Hermoso
Photos by Sonny Espiritu
World-class Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez wowed his fans when he showcased his graceful and majestic moves in an ice show at SM Megamall’s Skating Rink on June 18.
Fresh from intense trainings and competitions abroad, the 19-year-old Pinoy pride performed for his fans along with the other national figure skating champions. They entertained the audience with solo and group production numbers featuring different song genres and astounding routines.
One of Martinez’s dance numbers was a soulful routine along with a jazz rendition of “Halo” by Beyoncé. He gave the audience a sneak peak of his winning triple jumps and combo spins.
Being branded by foreign journalists as the “Tropical Prince,” he said it feels great to represent the Philippines in an international figure skating competition.
“The fire is really there to show off that I am from the Philippines. Even though we don’t have snow [and] we don’t have winter here, I wanted to show them that we can definitely do it,” said Martinez.
Martinez is the first skater from Southeast Asia and figure skater from the tropical zone to qualify for the Olympics and the only athlete to represent the Philippines at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
According to him, whenever he is on ice, he lets go of his rowdy and playful self and transforms into an entirely different person.
“My friends see, when I’m on the ice, that I am really focused on what I do. This is how I achieve my goals,” the figure skater shared.
Amid his successful figure skating career, he said that he still wants to go back to studying. He wants to study Law and is planning to apply at several universities in the US next year.
One of the main reasons why Martinez went home to the Philippines would be to hold skating camps in partnership with SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. (SMLEI).
“This is a very expensive sport. That’s why I am really thankful to SM. Because of them, I was able to reach my dream. Now, it’s my turn to give back,” he said.
His next camp is scheduled from June 30 until July 1 in Cebu where he will also perform the same routines he performed at SM Megamall. It has always been his hope to begin a formal program for Filipino figure skaters for them to be ready in international arena. Hence, despite the limited training facilities, Martinez is very hands-on when it comes to giving tips and trainings. He is optimistic that more Filipino skaters will be able to compete internationally.
After his skating camp, he is scheduled to fly back to California to resume his training for another competition in August.
As an athlete who had faced a few struggles before finally realizing his dream, he has a message to young Filipinos who wanted to follow in his footsteps.
“Don’t be afraid to take up the first step because you’ll never know what’s in store for you. Just do everything, no regrets and stay focused to reach your goal,” ended Martinez.
(Enna Hermoso is a student majoring in journalism at University of Sto. Tomas.)
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