I am one of the millions of Filipinos who were glued to the TV to watch the coverage of the Men’s Free Skate Program of the Sochi Olympics. For two nights, I cheered with friends on Facebook for Michael Martinez. I have heard of the boy last November, when I saw his video posted on Facebook. Then I forgot about him until the Winter Olympics came.
Honestly, I never expect that he would be in the medal standing with a bunch of veterans in the competition (Plushenko, Chan) and talented skaters like Takahashi and Hanyu who have the best coaches and money to support their training.
I cheered for Michael Martinez because he inspires that when you set your mind on something, impossible is nothing. It didn’t matter to him that he started skating at a shopping mall. It didn’t matter that the government didn’t support him financially like it should have done. It didn’t matter that they had to mortgage their house to support his training. Many would argue that he should have just given up, but how many athletes get the chance to represent their country at the Olympics? The Philippines in a Winter Olympics? Well, Michael made it happen.
Michael Martinez gives hope PERIOD. And now I am reminded me of the kids who gave up hope because they failed in an exam or couldn’t save enough money to pay for their tuition fee. They should have known Michael. So now every time a situation might seem hopeless, I will remember Michael Martinez in the Sochi Winter Olympics enjoying his dance on the ice. I will remember his smile after finishing his performance and of course, the gleam in his eyes when he saw that he had beaten his personal best.
If you missed Michael Martinez program in the free skate, here it is…
I hope to see you in Korea in four years, Michael Martinez. The Filipinos in Korea would be there to cheer for you. We’ll start saving now ;p