By Connie Macatula DeLeon, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Oct. 24, 2014
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Michael Martinez will compete with the best of the best as Illinois hosts Skate America, the first event of the 2014 Grand Prix Series.
He faces a lot of challenges in the competition because of his recent ankle and back injuries, but he is thankful for the support.
“Yung mga prayers, very thankful ako do’n,” said Martinez. “’Yon ang nagpapalakas sa akin to move forward, to skate stronger, and to do my best.”
Martinez’ mother says despite the injuries, Michael remains positive and is committed to giving a hundred percent.
“He hurt his back, kasi repeated ‘yung mga bagsak niya,” said Teresa Martinez, “but he’ll try his best.”
Teresa says this is a very challenging year for them, as the delay in financial support from their sponsors had affected Martinez’ performance in the rink.
“Walang competitive skater na tumigil ng training,” said Teresa Martinez. “That’s why napakahirap ng sitwasyon niya ngayon, because he stopped when he went back to the Philippines for more than four months, she he lost practically the precision of all his jumps. That is why it’s so difficult for him now.”
Martinez, who has been skating professional for almost a decade, will turn 18-years-old next month. And just like any teenager, he looks forward to his birthday and has a wish.
“I already got my driver’s license in the Philippines,” said Martinez. “When I turn 18, I’m planning to get my driver’s license in the U.S. so it would be easier. … But we need a car.”
As Martinez competes tonight, his mother has a request to all his fans.
“Maraming salamat sa continued na suporta ninyo,” she says. “Please pray for him, especially na hindi maayos ‘yung kanyang physical condition ngayon.”
The Grand Prix Series, which consists of six international events in a cumulative point-scoring format, will hold its final series on Dec. 11 in Barcelona, Spain. Whether Martinez makes it to the finals or not, fans say they will give Michael a warm reception for his achievements and for bringing pride to Filipinos.