MANILA - Filipino Olympic figure skater Michael Martinez on Tuesday said he has no regrets in his recent bid for the gold in Pyeongchang, even though he failed to reach the top 24 in the preliminary phase of the competition.
After just 2 weeks of preparation, the two-time Olympian ranked 28th among 30 contestants after he glided over the ice to the tune of "Emerald Tiger" by Vanessa Mae.
"I would definitely say no regrets because I fully believe that everything happens for a reason and what I’ve been through and what I’ve gone through is all meant for me to prepare for my life, and I’m thankful," Martinez told ANC's Headstart.
Martinez said both he and his coach strived to qualify, even though they were only notified that they were heading to the Winter Olympics late in January.
In the course of his training, he admitted, he pushed himself "too hard to the point that some practices, I’m just sad."
"I get on the ice and I see all the skaters do what I know I can do. I see that and I think I can do that really, really easy; but it makes me sad because I can’t do it," he said.
"During the official practice, I’m really, really sad because I know I can do these jumps and now that I’m trying to do it, it’s hard and it was frustrating," he added.
Martinez cleanly landed a triple axel and several other triples during his performance, but he admitted struggling "because of lack of practice."
"You can only push it as much, which I was able to do up to triple axel. I was able to land my triple axel in practices but it’s not ready for competition," he said.
He said it would usually take 2 to 3 months for a skater to get his jumps and another month to prepare for his program—a lot longer than the 2 and a half weeks he had.
But when it was his turn to perform, Martinez said he knew he simply had to give it his best shot.
"I’ll just do my best...I’m really happy and very proud of myself in what I have achieved in life. To be able to represent our country again in this prestigious event, the Olympics, it’s just truly amazing. I’m just gonna go out there and perform what I can do," he said, recalling his thoughts as he was about to get on the ice.
Martinez, who was one of two Southeast Asian competing in figure skating this year (the other being Julian Zhi Je Yee of Malaysia), entered the Pyeongchang Games ranked No. 44 in the world.
In the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Martinez made the final-24 cut and placed 20th in the free-skate phase. --With reports from Reuters
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