Skater Michael Martinez returns to US practice

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Aug. 6, 2014

ARTESIA, Calif. – After four months of being in the Philippines, Michael Martinez is back where he feels most at home – on the Southern California ice, trying to get back into his championship form in time for October’s Hilton Honors Skate America International Skating Union Grand Prix.

The 17-year-old Olympian said that he was happy to return to practice after the four-month layoff.

While Martinez appeared to be graceful and in good shape during a 45-minute open ice session in Artesia’s East West Ice Palace, he’s unsure if he will have enough preparation to go up against the likes of Jeremy Abbott.

He explained that he may not have enough time to get ready because during the four months he took off his competition continued to practice. He does say that his knee and back injuries were able to rest and heal during the time off.

Despite not having a coach, Martinez has been practicing on his own for about three hours a day since he arrived in the U.S. late last month, shortly after SM pledged a P9 million annual allowance that would allow him to train and compete internationally until the 2018 Winter Olympics. He says that he is still waiting for the pledges to come in so he can begin his lessons.

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