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Filipino ice skater Michael Martinez leaves Los Angeles for Winter Olympics in South korea

Michael Christian Martinez. Photo © https://goldenskate.com

THE Filipino Ice Skating Prince, 21-year-old figure skater Michael Martinez left Los Angeles Monday night for Pyeongchang, South Korea two days after a warm send-off party from friends and supporters in the City of Carson.

I’m very thankful for the support and for everybody being here doing the send-off party for me… and just showing all the support and love for me, and support for the country. I’m honestly thankful for that,” a very optimistic Martinez told mediamen on Saturday night at the iDance Studio at Avalon Boulevard, City of Carson.

Martinez admitted that he was “very nervous” during his first appearance at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

My experience (in the 2014 Winter Olympics) would help me calm my nerves when I compete in this Olympics,” Martinez added.

Martinez earlier told local reporters that there was no lull in his training even when he earlier failed to earn a slot in the Nebelhorn Trophy held in Obersdorf, Germany in September 2017. The competition was a qualifying tournament for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Filipino Ice Prince Michael Martinez does a “groupie” with friends and supporters during the send-off party.  Photo by Tony Garcia

The figure skater spends at least four hours in the skating rink everyday, taking day-offs only on Saturdays.

The Filipino Ice Skating Prince placed 8th over-all in the Nebelhorn Trophy which put him as a first alternate to the 2018 Winter Olympics slot.

In a welcome turn of events, the Swedish Olympic Committee decided not send their skater Alexander Majorov who placed 7th in the Nebelhorn Trophy after he failed to meet the scores set by the Swedish Olympic Committee.

When Sweden offered Majorov’s slot, the Philippine Skating Union and the Philippine Olympic Committee confirmed him to be the country’s representative to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Martinez is competing against figure skaters from the US, Belgium, Italy, South Korea, Ukraine and Malaysia.

The send-off party for fans and supporters was organized by Martinez’s avid supporter Nonie Belarmino at his iDance Studio.

The figure skating events will start on February 9 at the Ganeung Ice Arena in Pyeongchang.

Martinez is the first skater from Southeast Asia and from a tropical country, the Philippines, to qualify for the Olympics.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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