Michael Christian Martinez withdraws from Junior World Championship

By Steve Angles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 7, 2014

LOS ANGELES – After a Friday morning practice session, with doctors’ and coaches’ decisions, Michael Christian Martinez has withdrawn from next week’s Junior World Championships in Bulgaria.

After a six-hour practice on Wednesday, his first since the Winter Olympics, Martinez took a day off on Thursday. He hasn’t practiced for several weeks, and the prolonged time off can have negative effects on skater—especially for those with injuries.

“It’s getting better, I’m starting to get the jumps a little bit but it’s not enough,” Martinez said. “For figure skating you can only have up to two days, one day’s rest or two days. Maximum is three days. But if you exceed that, it’s like your body memory, your jumps, you couldn’t do it anymore. You will get dizzy easily from your spins.”

Making use of the off-day, the history-making Olympian met with more supporters.

He visited Los Angeles-based shoe company Vlado, a brand popular among hip-hop dancers and celebrities.

He also met with sportswear company Oakley earlier this week as well as other local businesses; many interested in helping him raise funds.

“It’s so heart-warming that everybody now is acknowledging my talent,” he said. “Everybody now is supporting me, so I’m very thankful for that.”

Martinez has caught the eyes of many well-wishers, been showered with presents and more fans, including non-Filipinos, since being voted as the most supported athlete at last month’s Winter Olympics.

Social media sites also found he was among the most talked about during the games.

“I feel very happy,” he said. “I feel like I want to cry when I see how much support they give me.”

“He did a great thing for his country and I think that’s a thing that everybody should brag about,” Hector Mendez, general manager of Vlado Footwear, said. “We’re just here to support and congratulate on his achievements.”

On Friday night, Martinez meets with his Zumba family and local officials in Carson, who will honor the Olympian.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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