A YEAR after his last visit in the country, Olympian Michael Martinez is back in the Philippines to give back something for ice skating.
With a lot of international experience under his belt, the Filipino hope lies on him to become the country’s first-ever gold medalist for ice skating in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.
“I’m looking for medal of any kind but I’m definitely eyeing the gold medal. I think we have the advantage in figure skating,” said Martinez. “If I have the time, I’ll be practicing my new program.”
Figure skating will make its debut in the biennial regional competition in the Kuala Lumpur edition, and even with only two gold medals at stake, Martinez is confident of the country’s chances.
“The other Filipino figure skaters who are training here are really training hard to improve their skills to place there for the SEA Games,” said Martinez, who finished 19th in the Sochi Games two years ago.
Martinez’s recent international stint was in the World Figure Skating Championships in Boston last April, finishing 19th out of 30 competitors.
While here for the off-season, Martinez will hold skating camps in Manila and Cebu, as part of fulfilling his dream of imparting knowledge and skills in the rink to young skaters.
“It has always been my hope to begin a program for the Philippines in which I could help raise more Filipino figure skaters ready for the international arena,” said Martinez.
The Manila camp will be held at the Mall of Asia from June 15-17 and in Cebu at SM Seaside City Cebu from June 30-July 1. After the camp, Martinez will head back to the United States to prepare for the next competition season in August.