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Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez eyes 2022 Winter Olympics

By Ysabel S. Vitangcol Published Jan 26, 2021 9:13 am Updated Jan 26, 2021 10:33 pm

Two-time Filipino Winter Olympian Michael Christian Martinez will be lacing up to represent the country again in this year’s upcoming international competitions, eyeing the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

Philippine Skating Union president Nikki Cheng confirmed this news to PhilSTAR L!fe, that he has been given the “go signal” for Martinez to resume competing internationally.

Martinez will be up against SEA Games silver medalist Christopher Caluza, and two-time Junior national medalist Edrian Celestino for the slot at one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. 

The 24-year-old Muntinlupa native is the first Filipino to compete in figure skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics held at Sochi, Russia, where he placed 19th overall. 

Filipino Winter Olympian Michael Christian Martinez in Gangneung, South Korea, 2018.

Being chosen to represent the country once again is an honor, according to Martinez.

“I was ecstatic when I heard the news that I have been chosen to represent our country again,” he says excitedly. “I informed my coach right away and he was very happy to hear it.”

Martinez will be coached by Russian former competitive ice dancer Nikolai Morozov, with whom he previously worked as choreographer for the 2014-2015 season.

“I am definitely excited to start training [under him]. He coached well-known champions like Shizuka Arakawa and Miki-Ando. He will personally handle me throughout my journey to secure a spot for the next Winter Olympics,” he remarks.

Martinez flew home in mid-2020 from the United States, where he has been training for the past 11 years, flying to and from the motherland. He has remained in the country for the time being and plans to return next month to resume preparations.

To keep himself productive during the pandemic, Martinez has been training off-ice which includes rotation, plyometric and strengthening training as well as attending online classes for choreography with Morozov. Martinez has also been making a name for himself online as a game streamer, hoping to support his future training when he returns to the US. 

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A post shared by Michael Martinez | Athlete (@mz_viral)

“Skating became a part of my life. So, this pandemic really made a big impact on me,” he shares. But the great news of going back on ice soon makes me happy and excited.”

Martinez began figure skating at the age of nine and has been competing at local and international competitions since. 

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games are set to take place from Feb. 4 to 20, with the International Olympic Committee recently announcing that health matters and measures are “already being taken” to ensure the safety and security of the quadrennial tournament.