Michael Christian Martinez, a veteran of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, appears to be having fun in his current work as a coach of young and potential figure skaters under the auspices of the Philippine Skating Union, as evidenced by images and brief films taken of him and his wards.

Martinez was back in the United States last week on the invitation of PSU president Nikki Cheng, who offered the athlete the job after the exodus of PSU-accredited coaches to other jobs over the past two years due to the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Martinez had previously spent a couple of years in the United States.

“We are very short-handed, especially with high level coaches, so Michael’s arrival to help us is very timely,” said Cheng, adding that Fernandez began his new coaching stint at the SM Megamall skating rink among the skaters in the PSU’s developmental pool. “We are very grateful for Michael’s assistance,” said Cheng.

Martinez went as far as to publish on Facebook a 15-second video of himself providing instruction to one of the skaters who was in his care.

They are the next generation of figure skaters, and I couldn’t be happier or more enthusiastic to share what I’ve learned with them here in the Philippines!” The video was captioned by Martinez.

According to Cheng, the child skater seen in the video is eight years old and is a member of the PSU national developmental pool. Erphy McKanzie.

When the head of the PSU disclosed to Martinez that she had initially been reluctant to instruct the ambitious local skaters, Martinez’s reaction was described as “reluctant.”

“Despite the fact that he wants to get back into competition, I asked Michael if he would be interested in trying his hand at coaching. After talking it over with us, he admitted to having second thoughts, but ultimately decided to abandon them. “It was like he lit up” (He got excited), Cheng said of their subsequent conversation with the athlete.

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Martinez, who is now 25 years old, was still a long way from being back in competitive shape when he made his debut in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014. The Chief of the PSU obtained this information from recent conversations she had with the figure skater.

Cheng stated that despite the fact that the Filipino skater did not have any formal training as a coach, “his experience and knowledge at performing at a high level of should help serve him well in teaching others the fine art of figure skating.” Cheng said this despite the fact that the Filipino skater did not have any formal training as a coach.

We will be observing how he adapts to his new role as a coach and how he interacts with his trainees because we anticipate that there will be some transitional difficulties involved.

The figure skating head added that this was also a way for Martinez to give back after the millions of pesos that the SM group of companies, led by SM honcho Hans Sy, and the government through the Philippine Sports Commission had invested in his athletic career. SM honcho Hans Sy was the driving force behind the investment in Martinez’s athletic career.

“I have a lot of faith that Michael will be able to nurture young skaters’ potential. “He has a lot to give to the sport, and we are aware that this will be a lengthy process; yet, this may be the next chapter for him,” she stated.

Martinez began his skating career as a prodigy at the SM Southmall ice skating rink in Las Pinas in 2005. It was there that coaches from the Philippine Skating Union (which was formerly known as the Ice Skating Institute of the Philippines) took notice of Martinez’s skill and talent. Martinez was born in Paranaque.

The figure skater has stated that he began participating in the sport at a young age in order to help him manage his chronic asthma.

The tall and lanky skater was sent to the United States to train with top coaches after it was realized that he had enormous potential. These coaches included John Nicks, an English mentor and a former world pair skating champion with his sister Jennifer, and Ilia Kulik, the Russian Olympic champion in men’s figure skating.

Martinez won his first international competition at the age of 16, when he was competing in the 2012 Crystal Skate in Romania. He then went on to finish in fifth place in the world junior championships, which were held in Milan, Italy, in March 2013, with a score of 191.64 points. Martinez’s first international victory came at the age of 16.

During the 2013 season, the Philippine skater was sidelined for almost two months due to a broken ankle.

However, he was able to make a full recovery in time to secure a spot for the Sochi Winter Games by finishing seventh in the Nebelhorn Trophy, the last Olympic qualifying event, which took place in September of that year in Oberstdorf, Germany. His score of 189.46 points earned him the position.

Martinez earned the distinction of being the first Southeast Asian to qualify in the men’s individual figure skating competition for the 22nd Winter Games, which were held in the well-known resort city of Sochi in the Russian Federation. Martinez earned this distinction by finishing among the top 10 competitors in the competition.

In addition to being the sole representative of the Philippines at the competition, he was tasked with carrying the Philippine flag during the opening ceremonies that took place at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, which has a capacity of forty thousand people.

Martinez finished 19th overall out of 24 competitors with a total score of 184.25 points, making his debut at the Winter Games. In the short program, Martinez got 64.81 points to advance to the free skate portion, where he scored 119.44 points to finish 19th overall.

His performance and return from the Sochi Winter Games were a cause for widespread excitement, and as a result, he became as the country’s poster boy for figure skating, thanks to his gorgeous and well-kept appearance.

Other noteworthy accomplishments that he accomplished in 2014 include finishing sixth in the Lombardia Trophy, winning a leg in the challenging International Skating Union Challenger Series, and coming in tenth overall in the Skate America competition.

Martinez also participated in the global championships for the first time, which took place in Shanghai, China. Out of the 24 competitors, Martinez finished in 21st place with a total of 192.38 points.

Martinez’s victory in the men’s individual competition at the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy tournament held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2015 was another significant achievement for the figure skater. This victory was the highlight of Martinez’s season in 2015.

In the inaugural year of figure skating competition at the Southeast Asian Games, which took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017, the Filipino competitor had to settle for a silver medal, falling behind the local favorite Julian Yee.

After finishing in eighth place in the 2017 CS Nebelhorn trophy, he was demoted to the position of alternate for the 2018 Winter Games, which will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This was due to the fact that the number of qualifiers for the event was cut down to the top eight finishers.

Due to what was reportedly a misunderstanding with the federation, Martinez was unable to participate in the 2019 30th Southeast Asian Games. As a result, Martinez missed out on the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd of fans from his native country.

As the pandemic swept the world over the next two years, he entered a period of semi-retirement during which he dabbled in coaching while attempting to make a living as a “media influencer” on social media. Before announcing his intention to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in early 2021, he did this before declaring his desire to do so.

However, by that time, the Philippine Sports Union (PSU) had already designated Christopher Lanuza and Edrian Celestino, who was based in Canada, as the country’s Olympic prospects, according to Cheng. -OKBET

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