CARSON CITY - Injuries couldn't slow down Michael Christian Martinez from celebrating with the Filipino community last Friday night, as he was honored by the City of Carson for his history-making Winter Olympics appearance.
The 17-year-old figure skater withdrew from the upcoming Junior World Championships in Bulgaria earlier that day.
"I just feel very very sad. I was hoping I could compete but 3 of my coaches said no because you need to conserve your body to prepare for the next 4 years, the next Winter Olympics, even my doctor said no. Ako lang naging yes," Martinez said.
Since the Olympics, Martinez has not been able to practice.
His history of back and knee injuries only made matters worse before coaches and doctors decided to withdraw him from the Junior Worlds.
"Time na rin to rest and to take time to heal my injuries kasi last year I really prepared for the 2014 Olympics so walang time makapag-heal ng injuries," he said.
"If he finishes in top 10 he will get points for that which will increase his world ranking so that's one of the effects but considering what the dangers is right now, it's still better for him to withdraw and earn points next season in other competitions," his mother Teresa said.
Despite the disappointment, Martinez was all smiles at a special celebration.
He was given a certificate of recognition from the city of Carson where his Zumba family has spearheaded many of his fundraisers.
Disney and Broadway star Anna Maria Perez DeTagle also came to meet the Olympian.
"I'm very proud of him and I hope that he will accomplish greater things," she said.
The help for Martinez continues, as a local physical therapist has also stepped up to help Martinez rehabilitate his injuries.
"First I have to assess him in our place I'll be thinking of aquatic... So we want to promote low impact exercises for him," Henrick Macalintal of the Motion Plus Aquatic Therapy Center said.
"It's so heartwarming and I'm really thankful that God is giving me everything that I needed," Martinez said.
Martinez will stay in the US for about a couple more weeks to begin some rehab before he heads back home to the Philippines.