By Maxine Lagman
AFTER his triumphant 19th overall ranking in the 2014 Winter Olympics, 19-year-old Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez is determined to make history again as he prepares for the 2018 Olympics.
Martinez, who was the first to qualify and represent the Philippines for the winter games, has been training 10 hours a day in the United States in preparation for his competitions this season.
Besides the Asian Trophy in August, he has been perfecting his quad for the Olympic qualifying round in March, and finally the Winter Olympics in 2018.
“I train five to six hours a day on ice. I practice two hours on my own. One hour dance on ice, one hour jumping and one hour choreography. And then two hours on the gym and one hour dance off ice. Also, an hour [of] therapy,” he said.
Martinez, known for his “matrix” exhibition, was advised by his doctor and coaches to stop doing it as it causes him pain. However, despite undergoing therapy from his last year’s spinal injury, he is confident enough to bring more gold medals in this season.
“My goal and dream is to be an Olympic champion and that itself holds the inspiration for me to keep going. Whatever happens, I always push through to reach that goal,” he said.
Despite his busy schedule, he came back to the Philippines and held a skating camp from Wednesday to Friday at the Skating Rink, SM Mall of Asia.
Martinez, together with several coaches, taught the kids to never be scared of doing a new trick.
He has already accumulated a lot of medals from different competitions, but he still believes that the greatest lesson aspiring figure skaters should learn from him and from sport is that it is not about the medals or levels, but about experiencing new things.
Martinez will also perform two separate ice shows on Saturday at the Skating Rink of SM Megamall with fellow 2015 Philippine National Champions, followed by a meet-and-greet with fans.
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