Martinez makes final preparations prior to Italy competition

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 16, 2014

LAKE FORREST, Calif. – He may have only learned this new routine a week ago during the New Jersey portion of his training but despite some jitters the Philippines Ice Prince Michael Martinez will show it off next week at the Lombardia Competition in Italy.

“I’m excited to compete internationally again,” said Martinez. “I’m a little nervous just because I only had a week to practice. It’s a short program and I’ve lost training. Now I just want to return to training.”

Before his Tuesday departure Martinez hit the ice with three of his coaches on Monday. Former US Olympian Scott Wendland will be coaching Martinez in Italy.

It’s early in the season,” said Wendland. “I think he can still be training better and a little more time on the programs but he’s got to start this season whether it’s good or bad. He’s got to start and he’s got to go out there do the best he can and then we learn from it and make changes if we need to and get him ready for skate America.”

The Lombardia will be his first competition since winning gold at the Triglav in Slovenia last April and his only competition before the Skate America Grand Prix in Chicago.

Martinez is nervous about his season debut because he hasn’t had much practice as he was sorting out budget issues with SM which resulted in a $9 million pesos annual allowance to help prepare him for the 2018 Olympics.

“Maybe Italy will assist me so maybe it can give me confidence to compete in Chicago but still I’m competing against world top level skaters there so I hope I’ll make it,” said Martinez. “ I’ll do my best too in the Chicago competition so let’s see how it goes.”

Martinez will leave for Italy on Tuesday where two other Philippine representatives will join him on September 20th.

After Italy Martinez will get about a month of training before he skates with the world’s best at the Hilton honors Grand Prix in Chicago which begin in late October.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @stevieangeles for more information.

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