MANILA, Philippines – Michael Martinez’s pullout from the World Junior Championships in Bulgaria was strongly advised by his doctor and coach, said the Filipino Olympian’s mother.
"Michael is withdrawing from the Bulgaria competition. It’s the doctor’s and the coach’s decision. Michael’s doctor has recommended that he withdraw from the World Junior since his knee injury has not completely healed yet, and his falls during his current practices are adding to the injuries," Maria Teresa Martinez said.
Training has never been easy for Martinez since he has sustained multiple injuries to the ankle, knee and thigh since 2009.
Martinez was supposed to compete in the Junior Men Single category of the World Junior Championships which will be held from March 10 to 16 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Martinez took up figure skating when he was eight, inspired by skaters spinning and jumping while shopping with his mother at SM Southmall. He began training in 2010 in the US and since then his lifelong dream has been to win an Olympic medal. Martinez has garnered over 190 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions.
Through the years, SM and the Philippine Skating Union (PSU) have conducted several figure skating competitions that have given birth to international champions such as Martinez.
Martinez is now making use of his free time to meet with his supporters.
He visited Los Angeles-based shoe company, Vlado, a brand popular among hip-hop dancers and celebrities.
He also met with sportswear company Oakley earlier this week as well as other local businesses, many of whom are interested in helping him raise funds.
"It's so heartwarming that everybody now acknowledges my talent. Everybody now is supporting me so I'm very thankful for that. I feel very happy, it feels like...feeling ko iiyak ako nang nakita ko ang dami ng suporta sa akin."
Martinez is expected to also meet with his Zumba family and the local officials of Carson who will honor the Olympian. – With a report from Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau