Slovenia victory keeps Martinez pirouetting for bigger glory
Two months after another triumphant feat, young Filipino skating star Michael Christian Martinez is gearing up for more golden wins in seven international competitions in the next six months.
“I’m happy with the way I skate, I think I’m getting better,” said Martinez, who ruled the International Skating Union’s annual Triglav Trophy in Slovenia last April.
Martinez, the first Southeast Asian figure skater to compete in the Olympics, is in the country for a brief visit but will be leaving soon to compete in the Los Angeles Open Championships in California July 10 to 12.
“I’ve been really working hard with my coaches,” Martinez said Thursday during a press conference hosted by SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc. at SM Megamall.
Martinez said he’s gearing up mainly for the Grand Prix Cup in Beijing from Nov. 6 to 8, an invitational tournament that features only the world’s finest figure skaters.
Martinez will also see action in Skate Detroit in Michigan (July 23 to 25), Asian Trophy in Bangkok (Aug. 5 to 8), USA Classic in Utah (Sept. 16 to 29) and Filandia Trophy in Espoo, Finland (Oct. 8 to 11).
Before the year ends, Martinez will compete in the Golden Spring of Zagreb (Dec. 9 to 12) in Croatia.
“I’ve been training in New Jersey and I’ve also taken dance lessons to improve my artistry,” said Martinez, who made history in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as the first Southeast Asian and the youngest competitor.
CJ Suarez, the 2003 World Cup of bowling winner who now heads SM’s sports development program, said Martinez is also helping discover homegrown talents for winter sports with ice hockey and ice skating expected to debut in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.
“We’re creating a pool of talents to field in the 2017 SEA Games,” said Suarez. “Michael has given a few names and we’re still evaluating.”
Martinez has been training under several foreign coaches, including Russian Llia Kulik and Briton John Nicks on jumps, American Scott Wedland on spins, Italian Lia Trovati on on-ice dance and American Peter Kongkasem on freestyle.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.