PH Skating Union finding ways to aid Martinez’s 2022 Winter Olympics bid
The Philippine Skating Union (PSU), the governing body for figure skating and short track speed skating, doubled down on its commitment to supporting its constituents who are shooting for the next level, but stressed that it also hopes to be equal and fair as it also continues to reel during an extraordinary testy time.
“The federation is already looking for ways to gain corporate sponsorships, but we also face challenges in attaining this due to the pandemic,” PSU president Nikki Cheng told the Inquirer.
“Unfortunately, we are also not in the capacity to fund all of them fully,” she went on. “Figure skating—as with many other sports—is very costly, especially at the elite level. However, the federation continues to find [other] ways in providing that monetary support.”
Cheng’s comments come on the heels of Michael Martinez’s fundraising effort to cover the cost of his training in the United States. The latter has since come out of a hiatus and made the 2022 Winter Olympics in China his prime target.
“Michael will be given funding from the federation and this has already been communicated,” Cheng said. “However, admittedly, it wouldn’t cover the whole cost of his training. I will not be disclosing the amount, but it’s a significant sum of support.”
“We have five skaters in our federation vying for an Olympic slot and we would want to also be able to support all of them,” Cheng added.
“We have two other male figure skaters that have been representing the Philippines during (Michael’s) time away after his 2018 Olympic stint, which he has to compete against with for the slot for Beijing 2022. We would want to be fair to our skaters who have been competing consistently in the past seasons and support them equally,” the executive explained.
Martinez, a two-time Winter Games veteran, hopes to raise at least P2.5 million. He is currently training in New Jersey under the guidance of Nikolai Morozov, a former Olympian himself who has mentored an Olympic gold medalist and a world champion.
Cheng said that she laud’s Martinez’s initiative to boost his bid, noting that this has been a sort of a trend among other speed skaters.
“I’ve recently seen two British speed skaters who put up their own coffee business to help fund their way to the 2022 Beijing Olympics. These athletes are great examples of those [who] try to find ways [during] adversity to make things happen,” she added.
“I think it’s good that Michael is trying to gain additional support on his own.”
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