26 February 2014, Pasay City, Philippines) It was a moment to behold. Homegrown talent Michael Christian Martinez, Southeast Asia’s first Winter Olympian, has truly endeared himself to Filipino hearts, on and off the ice, as fans and supporters arrived in throngs at SM malls to see the Olympian from the mall perform.
Since Monday, Martinez held exhibition performances in SM skating rinks at SM Southmall, SM Mall of Asia and in SM Mega Fashion Hall in SM Megamall.
Martinez enthralled the crowd with some of his sophisticated skating moves– triple toe loops, Russian split jumps, camel variations, the Charlotte spiral, the Ina Bauer, “the Mr. Frick” and the Biellmann spin—mustering squeals and shrieks as he glided across the skating rink.
Still not used to so much attention, the shy 17-year old mouthed “Thank You” to his fans and was treated to some tokens as fans would reach out to him and give him a stuffed toy. Martinez kept crossing his hands over his chest to express his heartfelt gratitude and to show how the gestures moved him. He showed no sign of weariness and kept smiling and waving as the crowd chanted his name.
Martinez is set to fly off to the United States on Thursday where he will train for the World Junior Figure Skating Championships to be held in Sofia Bulgaria from March 10-16, 2014 where he ranked 5th overall in 2013. Martinez aims to earn a medal this time following his experience at and training for the Winter Olympics. Thereafter, Martinez will train in the United States for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Championships series which will start in August. Martinez frequented SM Southmall in Las Pinas in his early years and much later on in SM Mall of Asia for figure skating competitions despite frequent bouts of asthma.
Since skating at 8 years old, Martinez has garnered 194 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions. Martinez clinched 7th place at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany that qualified him for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Through the years, SM and the SM-sponsored Philippine Skating Union have conducted several figure skating competitions that have given birth to international champions such as Martinez.
The excellence demonstrated by skaters especially during competitions is a mark of quality that the SM Skating Rink can provide with its world-class venue and facilities. Property conglomerate SM Prime Holdings, Inc. operates skating rinks through SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, and SM Southmall in Las Pinas.
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For information, contact:
Ms. Nicole Deato
AVP and Business Unit Head for Educational and Leisure Centers
SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
Mr. Steven Tan
Vice President, Premier Division
Wednesday, February 26, 2014