MANILA, Philippines – Filipino figure skater Michael Christian Martinez may have to quit his sport as his mother has now run out of funds for his training.
Martinez, who made history in the 2014 Winter Olympics last February in Sochi, returned to the Philippines last Friday and spent some time training at the SM Mall of Asia skating rink.
He is just coming off a gold-medal finish in a Slovenia event, and is hoping to return to the United States where he will continue on working on his quad jumps and other skills.
But Martinez and his mother, Teresa, admitted that the figure skater’s dreams of making it to the 2018 Winter Games may have to be scuttled due to lack of funds.
“Kung wala, anong use? Di na kaya ng mom ko, so titigil ako,” Martinez said.
“Umiiyak talaga siya ng sinabi ko sa kanya ‘yung possibility that… you know, I do not have anymore funds to help you for the next four years,” said Teresa Martinez.
Teresa has said in previous interviews that figure skating is an expensive sport, especially as her son needs to be coached by elite trainers in the United States in order to get to the next level.
“Coaches sa U.S. charge between $100 to $150 per hour, so we will be needing something like $10,000 a month,” she said.
Martinez is not losing hope, however, and Philippine Skating Union President Pocholo Veguillas has said that he plans to help the skater’s family raise funds for his training.
Meanwhile, the SM Group in a statement said they are “in discussions with Michael and other groups” regarding the skater’s funding.
“The SM Group is committed to supporting Michael in his bid to get into the 2018 Olympics,” said SM. -- From a report by Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News.