I was waiting on TV for the live telecast of his performance last night; it came at midnight Philippine time and I was already asleep. I woke up happy when I saw the news flashed that Michael Martinez made an amazing debut by surviving the first cut to the finals. Watching him in the opening ceremonies carrying the Philippine flag alone puts me to tears. In our history, he is the first Filipino to ever participate in a Winter Olympics; from a tropical country at that.  He is the youngest of all the competitors and the only Southeast Asian contender. Aside from the financial support given by the Philippine Government and other private institutions, they were never enough to cover their expenses and accommodation for training abroad. So his mother gambled on making bank loans with their own home as collateral just to raise funds for his son’s training. He never failed his mother.

Michael Christian Martinez survived the initial cut Thursday night and advanced to the free skate of men’s figure skating in the 22nd Winter Olympics at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia.

Looking like a young prince in his costume, Martinez, 17, wowed the crowd and left the tv announcers thrill no end with his “stunning routine” while performing through the song entitled “Romeo and Juliet” of Arthur Fiedler.

A proud native of Muntinlupa City, Martinez garnered a score of 64.81, good for third spot among the first 10 competitors but already enough to move on for tomorrow’s free skate.

As of posting time, Belgium’s Jorik Hendrickx is leading the way with 72.52 followed by Uzbekistan’s Misha Ge with 68.07.

On the brink of getting eliminated were Abzal Rakimgaliev of Kazakhstan (64.18), Ukraine’s Yakou Godorozha (62.65), Estonia’s Viktor Romanenkov (61.55) and Liam Firus of Canada (55.04).

In a stunning development, Russian legend Evgeny Plushenko, a three-time World Championship titlist and a twice Olympic gold medalist, abruptly pulled out of the competitions citing lower back pain.

Martinez’s performance, however, drew the attention of the TV announcers, who gushed: “What a debut for the Philippines!”

“That was fantastic. I honestly didn’t think it would be this good,” they added.

From:  Yahoo Sports Philippines.


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