For the first time in history, the Philippines will send two athletes in two separate sports to the Winter Olympics, the Philippine Olympic Committee informed 2014 history-making figure skater Michael Martinez, on Wednesday that he will be included in the 2018 Games, after Sweden withdrew.
We spoke to the now 2-time Olympian on the phone shortly after his morning practice.
“I saw the message from the federation they were like, Michael, you’re in. They sent me screencaps of the email saying ISU emailed us that you’re in and I’m like no way so like I rushed in the rink and told me coach, were in we were all super happy about it.
The 21-year-old Martinez finished eight at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany last year, because only the top 7 advance to the Olympics he was named as an alternate for the Olympics.
Sweden withdrew Alexander Majorov for failing to meet the Swedish Olympic Committee’s minimum qualifying scores.
Knowing that it was a possibility, Martinez continued practicing.
“Sweden told me right after Germany that, hey I don’t think we will be in, so I was just very hopeful about it then kept training and it turned out really good.”
Martinez has a message for his supporters that prayed for him as he awaited his faith.
“I’m very very thankful for everybody for all the prayers and the support they’ve given to me. Especially my grandma, my family, my closest friends, they’re praying for me so hard to get in and like now you know I’m very thankful cuz now I’m in and I’m super thankful for everything.”
For now, Martinez will continue training in Southern California.
The men’s short program is scheduled for February 8th, a day before the opening ceremony.
He will be joined 17-year-old Fil-Am dual citizen Asa Miller, who will compete in the giant Slalom.