Michael Martinez Is the Olympics' First Filipino Figure Skater


He’s also the first Southeast Asian figure skater to represent at the Winter Olympics, is only 17 years old, and benefits from a feel-good story about taking up skating after asthma attacks disqualified him from competing in other sports, as well as relying on donations from friends and family to be able to afford Martinez’s endeavor.

More details from CNN:

His mother told CNN in an email that the family patched together donations from a local shopping mall ice rink, friends and his skating club. She said the family’s life saving has been depleted and that their family’s farm in Luzon province had been damaged by typhoons last year.
If Martinez hadn’t qualified for the Olympics in 2013, he would’ve had to quit competitive skating because his family couldn’t afford it, his mother added.

What’s more, he just qualified for the Men’s free skate after turning out an outstanding performance to Arthur Fielder’s “Romeo & Juliet” during the short program. He’s currently in 13th place in the men’s individual standings.

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