Grand welcome awaits Pinoy figure skater

By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 19 2014 03:55 AM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 11:55 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A grand welcome awaits figure skater Michael Christian Martinez in Muntinlupa City, where he hails from, upon his return from Sochi, Russia.

Martinez, 17, captured the hearts of local and international viewers after making history as the first Filipino athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics and ending up in 19th place in the men’s figure skating competition.

“We are very privileged to have an Olympian in our midst. Young as he is, he has become an inspiration to us that indeed, dreams are possible,” Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said in a statement yesterday.

The city council has passed a resolution recognizing Martinez’s achievement.

Apart from that, he would also be awarded P100,000 by the city government.

Meanwhile, Sen. Vicente Sotto III has filed a resolution to commend Martinez for being the first skater from Southeast Asia to qualify in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“Martinez proved to Filipinos that with perseverance, determination and hard work, it is possible to attain and fulfill one’s goals,” Sotto said.

Lawmakers from the House of Representatives have also filed resolutions commending Martinez for bringing honor to the country.

The independent bloc pushed the House leadership to commend Martinez for putting the Philippines in the international spotlight with his figure skating prowess despite coming from a tropical country.

“He may not have won a medal but to end up in 19th place despite the fact that we do not have snow here, and that he had only trained in a mall skating rink, is definitely not a small achievement,” Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, leader of the bloc, said.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman Jr. filed House Resolution 829 congratulating Martinez, who he said did the country proud.

“In a nation whose children learn about snow only in books and can only dream of playing on fields of ice, with sheer determination of a Filipino teenager to realize his potential in a sport like figure skating and compete against the best in the world is truly an amazing feat,” Lagman said.

During his performance Martinez left the viewers in awe, the congressman said, congratulating the skater for his “great, fantastic performance.”

E-mail didn’t reach Noy

Meanwhile, Malacañang said yesterday the email of Martinez’s mother to President Aquino apparently fell in the spam folder.

“Based on the report that I got, the email message didn’t make it. The possibility that was offered was that it could have fallen in the spam folder,” Press Secretary Herminio Coloma, who supervises the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) portal, said. – With Paolo Romero, Delon Porcalla, Christina Mendez