(6 March 2014, Pasay City, Philippines) Fresh from his performance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Philippine Olympian Michael Martinez is set to vie for a place on the podium at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships (“World Juniors”) in Sofia, Bulgaria from March 10 to 16.
The World Juniors competition, which is open to skaters 13 to 19 years old, is one of the most prestigious figure skating events sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU). Throughout history, great skaters have competed and won in this renowned tournament including the likes of Martinez’s coach and Olympic gold medallist Ilia Kulik, Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko, the United States’ Kristi Yamaguchi and the 2014 Olympic Champions Yuzuru Hanyu and Adelina Sotnikova.
Martinez will compete in the Junior Men Single category and will face off against 38 countries from around the world including Asian countries like China, Malaysia, South Korea and Taipei. Martinez, who placed fifth in the World Juniors in 2013 in Milan, Italy, will render a performance under the short program qualifying round. If he lands on the top 24, he will participate in the free skate round.
“Depending on the results of the (World Junior) competition, we will decide on whether Michael will participate in the World Junior or World Senior next season,” his mother, Maria Teresa Martinez said.
At the 2012 Crystal Skate held in Brazov, Romania, Martinez clinched his first senior international title championship, also a first for the Philippines. In 2013 to 2014, Martinez started his season at the 2013 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Latvia where he finished 4th. He later placed third in the Junior Grand Prix in Estonia in October 2013. He also competed at the Nebelhorn Trophy senior level in Germany in September 2013. The Nebelhorn Trophy was the last qualifying event for the 2014 Winter Olympics where Martinez finished 7th overall, thus earning a spot for the Philippines in men’s singles — a first for his country and in Southeast Asia.
Martinez is training under celebrated coaches and figure skaters Ilia Kulik and John Nicks. A Russian figure skater who began skating at the age of five, Kulik is the 1998 Olympic Champion, the 1995 European Champion, the 1997–1998 Grand Prix Final champion, and the 1995 World Junior champion. Nicks on the other hand is a figure skating coach and former pair skater. With his sister Jennifer, Nicks was the 1953 World Figure Skating champion. As a coach, his skating pupils have included American figure skaters Peggy Fleming, pairs team Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Sasha Cohen.
Says Martinez about his coaches now, “They are the best coaches I’ve had so far, and I’ve had many. For instance, Ilia is very thorough in showing me all the techniques. He even talks and spins in mid-air while executing a triple so he can show me where my hands should be and how my body should be positioned. He is an amazing skater.”
Martinez took up figure skating when he was eight, inspired by skaters spinning and jumping while shopping with his mother at SM Southmall. He began training in 2010 in the United States and since then his lifelong dream has been to win an Olympic medal. Martinez has garnered over 190 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions.
Through the years, SM and the Philippine Skating Union have conducted several figure skating competitions that have given birth to international champions such as Martinez.
The excellence demonstrated by skaters especially during competitions is a mark of quality that the SM Skating Rink can provide with its world-class venue and facilities. Property conglomerate SM Prime Holdings, Inc. operates skating rinks through SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, and SM Southmall in Las Pinas.
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AWARDS PROFILE OF MICHAEL MARTINEZ IN FIGURE SKATING
MICHAEL MARTINEZ’S COMPETITIVE EVENTS 2012, 2013 & 2014
For information, contact:
Ms. Nicole Deato
AVP and Business Unit Head for Educational and Leisure Centers
SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
Mr. Steven Tan
Vice President, Premier Division
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014