SLIDESHOW: Martinez skates for thrilled local fans

Text and photos by Mark Cristino,

Posted at Feb 25 2014 07:38 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2014 03:38 AM


MANILA, Philippines -- Michael Christian Martinez, the first figure skater from Southeast Asia to qualify for the Winter Olympics, dazzled the crowd during his special performance and meet-and-greet session at the SM Mall of Asia on Tuesday.

Martinez was the sole representative of the Philippines to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and served as the country's flagbearer at the opening ceremony.

Martinez, who started skating at an SM mall ice skating rink, qualified for the free skate in Sochi, after placing 19th in the short program with a score of 64.81 points. He scored 119.44 in the free skate and finished 19th overall with a total score of 184.25.

Martinez arrived in Manila last Sunday after his historic run at Sochi for a four-day visit before going back to Europe to train for the World Junior Championships scheduled on March 10.