Two-time Philippine Olympian Michael Martinez has been passing on his knowledge as a coach to dozens of aspiring figure skaters during free skate and training sessions in Pasadena, California.
"I love coaching ever since. I get to share my experience and to see them actually improve in just a short amount of time, it's a great feeling and also it's a way to support my training and upcoming competitions," Martinez shared.
"He makes the lessons really fun," figure skater Aleli Tirados said of Martinez. "I'm so proud to learn so many things from him."
This comes as Martinez himself eyes another shot at the Winter Olympics after failing to make the 2022 Games. The 25-year-old has continued to train despite his training in Russia getting cut short due to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. With day-to-day living expenses in the US skyrocketing, he’s looking at other countries to train in.
"I’ve been back and forth. I’ve been trying my best to train here [in the US]. I’ve been trying my best to support my competitions," Martinez noted.
"When I was training in Russia, it was the best training I’ve ever had. Definitely difficult, most difficult training I’ve ever had with my coach but unfortunately, with all the things happening we had to go back here. So right now, we’re trying to just be here temporarily and look for another training ground which is a lot cheaper so we can stretch out the funding."
To help fund his training, Martinez teamed up with some local Filipino musicians for an ice show on July 10th at the Anaheim skating rinks.
"It’s going to be a first for the Filipino community, to do a live concert on the ice with fellow Filipino singers, skaters and much more; and just be able to raise funds for my upcoming competitions and training not only here but in Spain."
While he’s excited to perform for the community, Martinez is even more thrilled to get back into competitions, eyeing several possible tilts later this year. But whether or not he makes it to a 3rd Winter Games, there's no denying that he has made an impact on figure skating in the Philippines, one that can be felt for future generations.