It was one fateful day in 2004, when then 8 year old Olympian Michael Martinez was casually strolling SM Southmall with his mom when he caught a glimpse of the SM Southmall Ice Skating Rink and was drawn to try ice skating. Once he stepped onto the ice, he realized that he has found his calling. He instantly enrolled for formal ice skating lessons at the SM Ice Skating rink to hone his craft. Not long after, he started joining local competitions.
During his formative years as a figure skater, Martinez frequented SM Southmall in Las Pinas and later transferred to SM Mall of Asia, which had a larger skating rink, to continue his training. Despite frequent bouts of asthma,a Martinez never gave up on his dreams to become a professional figure skater. Since he started skating at 8 years old, Martinez has garnered 194 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions.
Martinez clinched 7th place at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany that qualified him for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He is the first ever South East Asian to qualify for the Winter Olympics. His performance in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was met with so much positive response from the audience, judges and fellow competitors. The entire nation stayed up until the wee hours to watch his performance and to cheer on the lone Philippine bet to the Winter Olympics. In the end, Michael Martinez ranked 19th out of the 24, a great feat for a competitor from a tropical country.
“We are very proud of Michael. He is a shining example to the youth as someone who saw no limits to what he can achieve. He has already inspired millions by following his dream and by competing in the Winter Olympics and will continue to inspire us all as he works towards earning more medals in future Olympic competitions,” SM Prime Holdings President Hans T. Sy said.
Martinez will return to the Philippines from Sochi on February 23, and do a series of performances in SM Ice Skating rinks in Metro Manila. For information, please visit SM Skating Rink’s website at www.smiceskating.com or visit an SM Skating Rink near you. - The Lifestyle Portal
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