MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Olympian Michael Christian Martinez admitted that he lacked energy during his performance in the free skate program of the 2014 Winter Olympics figure skating competition due to lack of sleep.
Martinez already made history by becoming the first Southeast Asian to compete in the figure skating event and was impressive in his debut in the short program. He qualified to the free skating program, but suffered a fall early in his routine before making up for it in the second half of his program, where he nailed a difficult triple axel.
In a one-on-one interview with Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News, Martinez revealed that he was subjected to a random doping test the night before the free skate competition, which affected his recovery time.
“After ng short program, and when I got back to the village, I was supposed to sleep, but then they called us,” he related. “I was chosen for the random dope (testing).”
“It took us until like 3 a.m., and then we had to wake up at 6 a.m. because I had another practice for the free skate,” he added. “So three hours lang ang tulog ko.”
Martinez said he got another three hours of sleep after practice, but it simply wasn’t enough.
“There was energy in the program, but I think I could have done it more if I could have slept more,” he said.
Martinez wound up with a total score of 184.25 and finished in 19th place.
His mother, Teresa, said she knew her son could have performed better.
“Basing sa records ng scores niya, he was actually able to reach until 210 points, and what he got there was something like 180-plus lang for the whole competition,” she said. “Kasi kulang siya sa tulog.”
Although he did not medal in the Sochi Games, Martinez said he was still happy with his performance and is especially proud that he was able to represent the Philippines.
“When I marched in the opening ceremony and waved the flag,” he said, “it was really a magical moment for me.”
The random drug testing in the Sochi Olympics were conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The International Olympic Committee, in a fact sheet published January 2014, said the Winter Games in Sochi “will have the most comprehensive testing program of any Olympic Games in history.”
The closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics was overshadowed by doping cases, with ice hockey player Nicklas Backstrom of Sweden failing a drug test and barred from playing in the gold medal game against Canada.
There were a total of six doping cases in the Sochi Games.