The trailblazer is making a comeback.
Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez, known for his triumphant journey from recreational ice rinks to the Olympic arena, is making another appearance at the prestigious Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February.
His second trip to the Games came after Sweden’s Alexander Majorov was not allowed by his country’s Olympic committee to participate. Majorov initially earned a slot to the men’s figure skating category by placing the 7th in the recently-concluded European Championships, but he fell short of the scores set by the Swedish Olympic Committee.
No Olympic ticket for me.
— Alexander Majorov (@majorov3) January 22, 2018
Martinez – who fell two places short for a sure ticket to the Winter Olympics at the Nebelhorn Trophy back in September – will be taking his place. The 21-year-old athlete’s supporters and sports fans alike quickly went ecstatic on Twitter, expressing excitement over his return to the ice.
Happy to hear that Michael Martinez will be competing in the Winter Olympics! ❄️
— CARLA JENINA LIZARDO (@carlajenina) January 25, 2018
“[I am] happy to hear that Michael Martinez will be competing in the Winter Olympics,” one netizen said.
This is great news! I am looking forward to watch you in the Winter Olympic Games. Congrats Michael Martinez https://t.co/uJbJ3KoeVb
— 💝Charlie Magne 💃🏻 (@VivoAMilano) January 24, 2018
“This is great news! I am looking forward to watch you in the Winter Olympic Games. Congrats, Michael Martinez,” another tweet said.
In an interview with CNN Philippines Sports Desk, Martinez said he is happy and excited to compete in Pyeongchang. He also shared that training time is not a major concern, even though the Games are only two weeks away. He has been practicing consistently in Los Angeles with his coach Vyachelsav Zagorodnuyk
“My coach told me to practice, just in case. A lot of the officials and a lot of my friends are pushing me to go practice. I’ve been practicing and pretty much excited to go in,” he said.
The Filipino Olympian also revealed that he will be performing “Emerald Tiger” for his short program from the previous competitive season, “which a lot of people loved.” The figure skating events will start on February 9 at the Ganeung Ice Arena in Pyeonchang. He will be joining Filipino-American Asa Miller who will compete in the Alpine skiing event.
Martinez is the first Filipino and Southeast Asian athlete to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games. He made his remarkable Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia back in 2014 when he was just 17 years old, placing 19th overall. He also won the silver medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games and successfully landed the first quad toe jump of his career.
Photo from Michael Martinez