By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
March 10, 2014
CARSON CITY – Injuries couldn’t slow down Michael Christian Martinez from celebrating with the Filipino community last Friday night, as he was honored by the City of Carson for his history-making Winter Olympics appearance.
The 17-year-old figure skater withdrew from the upcoming Junior World Championships in Bulgaria earlier that day.
“I just feel very very sad,” Martinez said. “I was hoping I could compete but three of my coaches said no because you need to conserve your body to prepare for the next four years, the next Winter Olympics. Even my doctor said no. I’m the only one who said yes.”
Since the Olympics, Martinez has not been able to practice.
His history of back and knee injuries only made matters worse before coaches and doctors decided to withdraw him from the Junior Worlds.
“It’s time to rest and to take time to heal my injuries,” he said. “Last year I really prepared for the 2014 Olympics, so there was really no time for the injuries to heal.”
“If he finishes in top 10 he will get points for that, which will increase his world ranking,” his mother Teresa said. “So that’s one of the effects. But considering what the danger is right now, it’s still better for him to withdraw and earn points next season in other competitions.”
Despite the disappointment, Martinez was all smiles at a special celebration.
He was given a certificate of recognition from the city of Carson where his Zumba family has spearheaded many of his fundraisers.
Disney and Broadway star Anna Maria Perez DeTagle also came to meet the Olympian.
“I’m very proud of him and I hope that he will accomplish greater things,” she said.
The help for Martinez continues as a local physical therapist has also stepped up to help Martinez rehabilitate his injuries.
“First I have to assess him in our place,” Henrick Macalintal of the Motion Plus Aquatic Therapy Center said. “I’ll be thinking of aquatic [modes of therapy]. So we want to promote low impact exercises for him.”
“It’s so heartwarming and I’m really thankful that God is giving me everything that I needed,” Martinez said.
Martinez will stay in the US for about a couple more weeks to begin some rehab before he heads back home to the Philippines.
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