Michael Martinez skates with celebrity friends

LAKEWOOD, Calif. – Nearly a year ago, Michael Christian Martinez captivated the world at the 2014 Winter Olympics, finishing 19th place as the first Southeast Asian figure skater to make it to the Olympics.

The 18-year old figure skater is now gearing up for one of the biggest competitions of the year, the Four Continents Figure Skating Championship in South Korea. It will take place in Seoul from February 6-15.

“My jumps are getting better, it’s coming along and the choreography is getting there also so I hope I get a better placement in the next competition,” he said.

The Four Continents Championship features the top senior non-European figure skaters in the world. Martinez has been practicing in California for the past month, nearly perfecting his quad jump.

“We don’t know yet because depende din sa competitors. Especially syempre everybody has quads na and I don’t have still. I’m working on it. I’ve was trying my quads lately and I just need to land it,” Martinez said.

However, injuries have slowed down the Olympian in recent weeks.

“I got like growth spur on my heel and like, Achilles tendinitis on my right. So sabi naman ng doctor I have to rest for one week. So I hope it gets well para sa competition,” he said.

Despite not having full practice, Martinez is still staying on the ice and having fun by skating and teaching a few of his friends including Disney and Broadway star Anna Maria Perez de Tagle and Pinoy Big Brother housemate Ivan Dorschner.

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