Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines competes during the figure skating men's short program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.Photo by David Gray, Reuters
MANILA -- The mother of Filipino ice skater Michael Martinez is still on cloud nine after her son qualified for the free skating medal round of the men's figure skating event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, Teresa Martinez said she still can't believe her son has made history on the ice.
Martinez is the first Filipino to compete in Winter Games in 22 years and the first figure skater from Southeast Asia.
"Hindi ko talaga ma-explain yung [nararamdaman ko]. Iyak lang ako ng iyak kanina. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na pumasok siya sa top 24," Teresa said.
Martinez, who performed to the tune of Arthur Fielder's Romeo and Juliet, completed several triple axels, a triple loop, and the "Mr. Frick Move," which had himself leaning backwards to the ice.
Judges gave him a score of 64.81, which placed him at 19th. The standings were led by Japan, Canada and Spain.
The 17-year-old skater is the youngest among the 30 competitors in the event.
According to Teresa, her son, who was visibly nervous before and during his routine, committed several errors in his performance.
But she said what is more important right now is that he did not fall during his routine and that he has qualified for the free skate finals.
"Alam din niya na ang dami niyang mali eh... Kabadong-kabado. Pero buti naman po hindi bumagsak dun sa jump niya. Although sumablay siya, sablay din yung spins niya, at least he made it through," she said.
"Happy, happy talaga. Ang sa akin nga, kahit nasa 24th place lang siya, okay na eh, basta pumasok siya."
"Sulit. Sulit, sulit talaga [lahat ng sakripisyo]," she added.
Teresa said her son has also expressed gratitude to all those who have supported him in his bid at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
"Nagpasalamat siya na itinuloy namin talaga to... Yung suporta ko sa kanya na makarating siya dito. At yun nga, nagpapasalamat din siya sa lahat ng tumulong. Sabi niya kung wala nga rin lang yung mga tumulong na iba, then hindi rin posible na makarating dito sa Olympics," she said.
The next step for Martinez now is to compete in the free skating phase, which is the medal round, Friday night. There, he will perform for 4-and-a-half minutes.
"I hope maka-survive siya. Wag lang sanang atakihin ng asthma niya... Kasi pag yung sobrang nerbiyos, ina-asthma attack eh," Teresa said.
"Hopefully malagpasan niya. Anyway, pasok na so whatever happens, pasok na siya. At least pumasok siya sa finals," she added.
She said they will stay in Sochi until their February 28 flight to Moscow, where the teenage skater will train for about a week before flying to Bulgaria on March 10 for the World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
"Maraming salamat. Maraming salamat sa suporta at prayers. Maraming salamat talaga," Teresa said.