Quotes: US 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.


 






  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 13 2014 - Companies of UAE's DMCC increase 30 percentMENAFN
(MENAFN) Total number of companies operating in the UAE-based DMCC has boosted by 1.027 to 8.865 in the first half of 2014, according to Arabian Business.DMCC, the largest free zone in the UAE, said ...

 Jul 13 2014 - Bahrain's Garmco eyes USD50m investments to improve capacityMENAFN
(MENAFN) Bahrain-based Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Company (Garmco) eyes to invest USD50 million for capacity expansion, chief executive Graham Bruce told the GDN, Gulf Daily News reported.The annual ...

 Jul 13 2014 - GCC construction projects to hit USD195b by 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) Construction projects in the GCC countries are expected to reach USD195.67 billion by the end of 2014, which is 35 billion higher than in 2013, according to Arabian Business.Contractor ...

 Jul 13 2014 - In Gaza, war clouds Palestinian teen's dream of peaceAFP
(MENAFN - AFP) In 2012, Mohamed Abu Aisha took part in a US peace camp with Israelis, but now he wonders if some of them are flying the warplanes overhead in Gaza. Standing in the Tuffah ...

 Jul 13 2014 - Qatar's inflation reaches 3.4 percent in 12 monthsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's inflation rate was the highest among the GCC countries as it hit 3.4 percent in twelve months to the end of May, according to the Peninsula Qatar.The Statistical Centre for the ...

 Jul 13 2014 - Tonino Lamborghini to launch new hotel in DubaiMENAFN
(MENAFN) Tonino Lamborghini, the company owned by the son of the famous Italian carmaker Ferruccio Lamborghini, plans to launch a hotel project in Dubai as part of its plan to expand in the Middle ...

 Jul 13 2014 - Dubai's gov't gifts land worth USD500m to EmiratisMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai's government granted over USD500 million worth of land to local citizens in the first six months of the current year, including ten plots on Palm Jumeirah, according to Arabian ...

 Jul 13 2014 - Unique collection of Islamic textiles from the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization featured in a new bookMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) One of the world's most important and stunning collections of Islamic textiles from the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is being celebrated in a new publication created by ...

 Jul 13 2014 - Telefônica Vivo selects Ericsson for Brazilian digital city projectMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has been chosen by Telefônica Vivo to integrate the smart parking and smart lighting for its digital city project in Águas de São Pedro, Brazil. Collaborating ...

 Jul 13 2014 - Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai holds luxurious media Iftar MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) To celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai recently hosted an Iftar for the media who enjoyed a wide variety of international cuisines and Arabic specialties ...

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

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

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
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

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


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help