Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Filipino skater makes it from mall to Olympics  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 14/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN -Arab News) SOCHI, Russia: Michael Martinez nailed the bow at the end

Four bows, to be exact, though no one could blame him. He didn’t seem to want to leave the ice Thursday night, and no one was going to blame him for that, either

This wasn’t the shopping mall in the Philippines, where he learned his jumps and spins while trying to avoid parents and their kids skating by on family outings. This was the Iceberg Skating Palace and this was the Olympics, where the teenager was desperate for the skate of his young life

He had less than three minutes to prove himself in the short program and make it to the men’s free skate final

If he didn’t, he might have to be thinking about the next step, perhaps working for his family raising vegetables to sell to Japan

The expenses had become too much. The mall had contributed some money, but in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan there wasn’t much the government could do for a figure skater, the nation’s only competitor in Sochi

The family home had already been mortgaged to pay for his skating. There was no more to give

“We’re hoping he makes it and some companies support him,” his mother, Maria Teresa Martinez, said. “Otherwise he will just have to stop. We cannot afford it anymore. It’s just so expensive and we can’t do another four years.

In a sequined and braided black and white outfit donated by a designer in New York who saw his Facebook plea for proper Olympic attire, Martinez took the biggest stage of his life, skating just two spots before the great Evgeni Plushenko was supposed to go in front of a capacity crowd at the Olympic arena

He acknowledged the polite applause, gliding to the center of the ice. He paused, struck a pose, and then began the most important skate of his career

“I was so nervous,” he said. “This was such a big event.

He had reason to be. At 17, he is the youngest skater in the program and the only Filipino figure skater ever in the Olympics

Still, Martinez was sure he would prevail. The gangly kid with the mop of black hair had to, because this has been his life ever since he walked by the rink in the Manila mall at the age of 9, saw the skaters, and declared to his mother that this was something he wanted to do



He fell on his behind that day, but that didn’t stop him from coming back the next. Neither did the asthma that put him in the hospital many times and kept him from playing sports outdoors

“I WILL make the free skate,” he declared after practice the night before. “Because I am prepared.

Preparation, though, only counts so much. So on his Facebook page, Martinez asked his friends to “Please pray for me.

He began his skate by hitting a nice triple axel, drawing applause from the crowd. But on his second jump he didn’t finish the rotation on a triple lutz and triple toe loop, lowering his marks from the judges

But his spins were good, the rest of the program nicely skated. Most importantly, he didn’t look like a 17-year-old making his Olympic debut

In 2 minutes and 39 seconds, Martinez showed he belonged. And now all there was to do was to wait

“I’m very happy and proud,” he said. “I missed just one jump but the rest of the program was good.

In the kiss-and-cry area, Martinez waved his jacket with “Philippines” on the back to the crowd, drawing cheers. He sat with the Russian coach his mother — who learned skating along with her son so she could save money by coaching him herself — had hired for him, flashing a thumbs-up sign as his score was posted

It was 64.81, his best ever. But Martinez would have to wait again to find out whether it would be good enough to be one of the top 24 skaters who make it to the free skate

“I think so, maybe half and half,” he said. “I’m a little confident, but then I’m not.

Nearby, though, some of the other early skaters were struggling. Some fell trying jumps, others made mistakes that lowered their scores

Plushenko himself fell on a triple axel in warm-ups, hurting his back and ending his bid to add another medal on home ice to the four he already won

Suddenly, the math was starting to look good. It wasn’t official yet, but Martinez had made it in

“I feel like a real champion,” he said

For one night at the Olympics, that’s exactly what the kid from the mall was.

 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Feb 19 2017 - Abdelilah Benkirane is the Main Contributor to the PJD's FundMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) var td_screen_width = document.body.clientWidth; if ( td_screen_width >= 1024 ) { /* large monitors */ document.write(' data-ad-client="ca-pub-9546318280945074" ...

 Feb 19 2017 - Muslim Canadian MP Subjected to Death Threats Over Parliamentary MotionMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News)Canada, rightly so, prides itself on its welcoming and inclusive national character. There is, however, in all human societies, an ugly underbelly that occasionally ...

 Feb 19 2017 - Italian National Accused of Killing Two Moroccans and Burn their BodiesMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Italian police found the burned bodies of the two victims inside a car in the area of Cingoli, in the Macerata region. The Public Prosecutor is calling upon the ...

 Feb 19 2017 - King Mohammed VI, Ghanaian Pres. Chair Signing Ceremony of 25 Bilateral AgreementsMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Governmental agreements: A memorandum of understanding to open talks on an agreement regarding reciprocal investment promotion and protection. An agreement ...

 Feb 19 2017 - King Mohammed VI Holds Private Meeting with President of Republic of GhanaMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Following the meeting, the two leaders exchanged symbolic presents. Afterwards, the Ghanaian president decorated King Mohammed VI with the Order of the Star of ...

 Feb 19 2017 - Morocco Takes Part in Prague International Fair 'Holiday World'Morocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) According to the ONMT, the four-day event, which is expected to attract some 48,000 visitors this year, is an opportunity to promote the destination of Morocco in the ...

 Feb 19 2017 - Morocco's Return to AU Will Enhance Inter-African Cooperation: Danish Foreign MinistryMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Morocco reintegration into the AU 'brings together all the African nations,' the source pointed out, noting that 'in these times of globalization, it is a welcome ...

 Feb 19 2017 - King Mohammed VI to Visit Guinea February 22Morocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) While chairing the summit, Condé blocked the maneuvers of Morocco's rivals, urging them to respect the majority of countries that supported Morocco's return to the ...

 Feb 19 2017 - Photo of Mexican-American Actress Salma Hayek in Morocco Goes ViralMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Valentina was taking a picture when this EPIC photobomb occurred! #monkey #morocco Este mono se coló en la foto que me tomo Valentina Une publication partagée par ...

 Feb 19 2017 - Atlas Mountain in Mango's Latest Ad CampaignMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) The Iberian ready-to-wear brand has chosen the Atlas Mountains as a setting for 'Beyond The Mirror', the brand's latest advertising campaign accompanying the launch of ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Search News
Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help