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.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Oct 1 2014 - Japan volcano death toll hits 43 as new bodies foundKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Rescuers found seven more people in cardiac arrest near the mountain top and are now carrying them down an official in Otaki village where one mountain trail begins told ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor speak about their film 'Haider'Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Vishals fascination with Shakespeare is undeniable. Shahid Kapoor was not sure whose coffee he was having while he sat on the couch with City Times during his recent trip to ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Newlyweds set to officialise perfect weddingKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Newlyweds George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin were expected to hold a civil service at Venice town hall yesterday to officialise their star-studded more than perfect ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Qatar Stocks Gain SlightlyQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Qatar Exchange index gained slightly by 30.24 points (+0.22%) when the bourse closed trading at 13,758.55 points here Wednesday. The trading value dropped to QR 613.628 million from ...

 Oct 1 2014 - QAPCO, Education Above All Sign Partnership AgreementQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) and Education Above All Foundation (EAA) on Wednesday signed a partnership agreement, according to which QAPCO joins the international partners and ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Qatar's Hajj Mission Participates in GCC Annual Mission MeetingQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Qatar's Hajj mission took part in the annual meeting for heads of GCC Hajj missions that was held Tuesday night at the headquarters of the Bahraini mission in Mecca. The meeting ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Alia Bhatt turns designerKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Says director Karan Johar influences her fashion sense Photo: Agencies Alia Bhatt has turned designer for a line titled ‘Alia’ for an online shopping portal. ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Al Ain bow out in style in AFC Champions LeagueKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Boss exit despite beating Al Hilal by odd goal in three in AFC Champions Dubai: Ten-man Al Ain beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 2-1 in the second leg of the AFC ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Justin Rose aims for the skies in charity bidKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Rose was set a task of hitting a succession of golf balls at a target 180 yards away from his elevated perch on the planes wing which has a wingspan of 64 metres. Golfer ...

 Oct 1 2014 - Aussies likely to miss services of three key playersKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Glenn Maxwell Cameron Boyce and Pat Cummins may not be included in the team if they play the final of the Champions League T20 in India. Your browser does not support ...

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