MANILA – The Pasay City government has named figure skater Michael Christian Martinez an adopted son of Pasay, with Mayor Antonino Calixto giving him a key to the city last Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia.
“It is but proper that we give the necessary recognition to Michael Christian Martinez. Even at a young age, he has made the whole country proud, thereby showing to the world that even though we’re a tropical country, we can still excel in the Winter Olympics,” Calixto said in a statement.
Martinez made history as the lone Filipino Olympian in the Sochi games and the first Southeast Asian to compete in the figure skating event, where he wound up in 19th place.
Martinez on Sunday expressed his love for the SM MOA ice skating rink, which served as one of his training grounds that led to the development of his skills.
Pasay City spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the 17-year-old Martinez spent so much time training in Pasay that he was virtually a resident of the city.
“Even without Mayor Calixto’s declaration, Martinez would come to Pasay almost daily for his training, so we’re just happy to formalize the arrangement,” Malaya said.
Malaya added that Pasay City is honored to have played a role in Martinez’s road to the Winter Olympics.