The Philippines earned a spot in the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held at Sochi, Russia, courtesy of young figure skater Michael Christian Martinez.
Filipino Michael Christian Martinez finished seventh in the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy, which qualifies him to the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held at Sochi, Russia.
The 16-year-old student from Parañaque City 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 foreign coaches.
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.
Earlier this year, Martinez finished 4th at the 2013 JGP Latvia. He then competed on the senior level at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy, the last qualifying event for the 2014 Winter Olympics. He seventh position at the said tournament earned him a spot for the Philippines in men’s singles.
The Philippines is actually the first truly tropical nation to compete in the Winter Olympic Games. The country sent two alpine skiers to the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. 16 years after, we participated in the luge event in 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. It was followed in 1992 when we sent another alpine skier in Albertville, France.
After 22 years, Philippines participating again in the Winter Olympics and for the first time, we are sending a figure skater!
Watch Michael Christian Martinez’ winning performance here: