What Michael Martinez taught us with his early exit from the Olympics

Gil Cadiz

Our homegrown ice prince Michael Martinez fell short at the preliminaries and failed to advance to the free-skate medal round of the men’s figure skating competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

His short program performance, though, was his best, by far – miles better than his performance at the 2014 Sochi Games. He skated gracefully and flawlessly to Vanessa Mae’s “Emerald Tiger,” and obviously gave his best given whatever circumstances he had to face, which makes us proud of and thankful to him for putting our tropical country on the figure skating map.

Here’s what we can all be reminded of by Michael’s short stint at the winter games.

  1. Grab opportunities that don’t come along often.

In the Olympics qualifier last year, Michael finished seventh, but only six were supposed to go. He hung up his skates and focused on another interest. But in late January, he got a call that he was going to Pyeongchang after all as a spot was opened. Any other person would have said no to competing without enough time to prepare, but Michael was already a champ for not hesitating to take the offer.

#Philippines – #MZViral #MichaelMartinez #MCMartinez

A post shared by Michael Christian Martinez (@mz_viral) on

  1. Work hard.

When he got that call, he went back to training right away and worked as hard as he could in achieving his ideal skating weight and getting his jumps back. His training did pay off as he nailed the triple axel and did not have a single fall.

Shot by @sthanlee – #MZViral #MichaelMartinez #MCMartinez

A post shared by Michael Christian Martinez (@mz_viral) on

  1. Enjoy the moments.

While staying at the Olympic village, Michael did not allow himself to be eaten by the pressure of the games. He made sure he enjoyed himself and took selfies with athletes he looks up to. Here he is with American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy.

  1. Be a good sport.

He failed to cop a medal, but he didn’t express sour grapes or bitterness, hide from the world or trash talk any of his competitors. Here’s his selfie with the undefeated men’s figure skating king, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu.

  1. Be different.

Sickly as a kid, Michael outgrew asthma as he continued skating and training hard until he became the first skater from Southeast Asia and from a tropical country to qualify for the Olympics. He’s the 2015 Asian Figure Skating Trophy champion, the lone athlete that represented the Philippines at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and one of only two that represented the Philippines at this year’s Winter Olympics.

Watch and enjoy Michael’s short program performance here:

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