Martinez sets sights on 2014 Winter Olympics

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Michael Christian Martinez poses with a trophy that he won in one of the international events he joined. (MNS photo)

Michael Martinez is pulling out all the stops as he launches an ambitious bid to become the first Filipino athlete to compete in the figure skating event of the Winter Olympics.

Already the country’s most accomplished athlete in the sport at the age of 19, Martinez is hoping to achieve his lifelong dream of competing against the world’s best in the grandest stage of figure skating in Sochi, Russia, next year.

Martinez, who finished seventh in the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, last year, will be vying for the six remaining berths when he competes in Oberstdorf, Germany, late this year.

“I’m confident that I can qualify with all the preparation and training in the next few months,” said Martinez, who received P1 million from SM Skate for his training expenses in the United States and Russia.

Martinez, who topped the Crystal Skate competition in Romania last year, will be training under Russian former Olympic gold medalist Ilia Kulik in the United States in preparation for his Olympic qualifying bid.

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