Sochi 2014: Michael Christian Martinez mortgages house to fund Olympic trip

Sochi 2014: Sole Filipino Michael Christian Martinez so determined to figure skate in Russia family mortgaged house

By Kojo Amofa
Uphill struggle: Michael Christian Martinez Photo: skunk9871/YouTube

Michael Christian Martinez, the Philippines’ lone competitor at the Sochi games, is bidding for a medal despite the lack of financial support from his Government that has forced his family to mortgage their house.

The 17-year-old’s mother Maria Theresa Martinez said she appealed to Philippines President Benigno Aquino III several times for financial support but failed to get any response.

Although devout Catholic Martinez had support from his sponsor and the Philippine Skating Union, the Martinez family had to mortgage their house to cover the youngster’s travel and training costs.

“I feel intense pressure before a competition, not because I have to impress judges, but because of lack of training and lack of a coach,” Martinez told the Catholic news service.

I’m holding on to God, every competition I ask him for help and confidence and it really works

Michael Christian Martinez

It’s just one of many challenges Martinez had to face in his pursuit of skating glory.

Childhood asthma ensured his early development on the ice was a turbulent one, littered with constant hospital visits.

His condition would ease over time and five years ago his skates slashed and cut through his own thigh and he needed a full two months to heal.

“Before there was no one to hold on to except from my mum, but no one else,” he said.

“So I’m holding on to God, every competition I ask him for help and confidence and it really works.”

Samsung are a proud partner of Team GB and are supporting the Samsung Galaxy Team. To meet the team, see exclusive content and win amazing prizes, including once-in-a-lifetime winter sport training sessions with the Samsung Galaxy Team athletes, visit: www.samsung.com/uk/sochi2014

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