MICHAEL CHRISTIAN MARTINEZ CRASHES OUT OF MEDAL HUNT AT SOCHI

Michael Christian Martinez, who pulled off a couple of performances that put the Philippines on the
world figure skating map, will still go home empty handed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia The 17-year-old Martinez though can hold his head high after getting rave reviews from commentators and uplifting the spirits of his countrymen who rallied behind him. A solid showing in Friday’s free skate program wasn’t enough for a medal finish for Martinez, who was eventually surpassed by Jeremy Abbott of the US, Belgian Jorik Hendricx, Uzbekistan’s Misha Ge Uzbekistan and Florent Amodio of France among other competitors. Martinez actually had a great start, at one point topping the field with a score of 119.44 after his finale for a total grade of 184.25. But he would dip further as his counterparts started climbing the ladder with their respective routines. Martinez already made history by becoming the first skater from the Philippines and Southeast Asia to see action in the Winter Olympics. The commentators, for their part, saw potential in the meek-looking Martinez. “He’ll mature into a full performer,” said one analyst.

ALSO: Sochi Olympics: Martinez ends up at 19th but gains attention of nation, world

He entered the biggest sporting stage with the modest goal of making it to the top 24 but Michael Martinez, the Philippines’ brave lone Winter Olympian, achieved way more than that. In two nights, Martinez turned “triple Axel jump” into a household phrase and managed to make the entire nation rally behind him with his gutsy and inspired performances in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. With his routines scheduled near midnight in Manila time, it seemed like every Filipino stayed up to witness him make history on the rink—holding their breaths as he soared through a triple Axel, and crossing their fingers that Martinez won’t spill. And the 17-year-old Martinez, the youngest among the seasoned competitors, definitely didn’t disappoint as he wound up 19th out of the top 24 at the close of the men’s figure skating competition.

ALSO: $10K bonus awaits Martinez at home for Sochi stint

A reward of $10,000 awaits Filipino skater Michael Christian Martinez when he comes home after his noteworthy showing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This after businessman and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan promised to hand Martinez the said cash incentive through the MVP Sports Foundation. Pangilinan’s close associate Chot Reyes – also the head coach of Gilas Pilipinas – confirmed this on his Twitter account.

ALSO: Michael Christian Martinez used to study Canada's Patrick Chan on YouTube.

Michael Christian Martinez used to study Canada's Patrick Chan on YouTube. In Sochi, the Filipino teen got the real deal. The 17-year-old figure skater is the lone member of the Philippines Olympic team, and because he and Chan were the first two skaters to arrive in Sochi, they found themselves alone together during several practice sessions. The Toronto skater befriended the Martinez, gave him some pointers and even invited him to dinner. "It felt really great," Martinez said, with a big grin. "I feel like a champion because I'm skating with Patrick Chan, and I feel like a world champion also. . . the way he skated, the way his edges are, I was trying to copy him but I couldn't. "He gave me some knowledge because before I was just watching him on YouTube. Now I can see how he really does bend his knees (etc.). . ." Whatever instruction Chad provided certainly helped. On Thursday, Martinez finished 19th in the men's short and qualified for Friday's long program. Chan, a three-time world champion, was second in the short. Chan, 23, had dinner with Martinez at the athletes village one night. "He actually told me that I was official Canadian team (member)," Martinez said, laughing. "He was really friendly and kind. I really liked him. Surprisingly (nice) for a world champion. "He congratulated me that I'm the lone Olympian for the Philippines."

ALSO: Canada's figure skating champ Patricj Chan wins silver in men's figure skating

"Sorry for missing gold"-Canada's Patrick Chan won silver in men's figure skating at the Sochi Games and in typical Canadian fashion says he is 'sorry'. "I can't thank Canada enough for all the support I've had. I gave it my all in this program, I swear," said Chan. "All Canadians say 'sorry' and I'm sorry." Chan didn't have a clean program, touching the ice on one jump while falling on another to score 178.10 in the free skate. That gave him a total score of 275.62 and a place on the podium, just not the one he wanted. "I'm really proud of myself for keeping it together and not going insane," said Chan in an interview with CBC after his skate. "I'm disappointed of course. I was this close to grasping the gold medal." Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, finished first after also falling twice en route to a 178.64 for 280.09 points. Two skaters remained but neither could catch Hanyu or Chan. Hanyu, a 19-year-old who lives and trains in Toronto with coach Brian Orser, set a world short-program record the previous night of 101.45, making him the first man in history to break the 100-point barrier. The 23-year-old Chan, from Toronto, trailed Hanyu by four points going into the long program.

ALSO: David Beckham 'humbled' in visit to Yolanda victims in Tacloban

Former England soccer captain David Beckham visited the central Philippines on Thursday to
meet with the survivors of a powerful typhoon. Beckham went to an evacuation shelter in Tacloban City, one of the heavily hit areas still recovering from the aftermath from typhoon Yolanda's (Haiyan) devastation. “As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, seeing how children are being given a sense of normality amidst the rubble of their communities has been amazing. I want to show people around the world how their generous donations have had an enormous impact on children and their families and how thankful people here are for their kindness,” Beckham also said. Hundreds of evacuees came to see the soccer icon as he greeted the survivors and spent time with children inside an evacuation tent managed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).


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Martinez crashes out of medal hunt at Sochi


Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines competes in the men's free skate figure skating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

MANILA, FEBRUARY 17, 2014 (PHILSTAR) Michael Christian Martinez, who pulled off a couple of performances that put the Philippines on the world figure skating map, will still go home empty handed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

The 17-year-old Martinez though can hold his head high after getting rave reviews from commentators and uplifting the spirits of his countrymen who rallied behind him.

A solid showing in Friday’s free skate program wasn’t enough for a medal finish for Martinez, who was eventually surpassed by Jeremy Abbott of the US, Belgian Jorik Hendricx, Uzbekistan’s Misha Ge Uzbekistan and Florent Amodio of France among other competitors.

Martinez actually had a great start, at one point topping the field with a score of 119.44 after his finale for a total grade of 184.25. But he would dip further as his counterparts started climbing the ladder with their respective routines.

He took the rink as the evening’s third performer, and is at seventh place as of posting time.

Martinez performed to Ernesto Lecuona’s “Malaguena,” drawing praise from the event commentators as early as his first triple-axel attempt.

"That triple axle went up like a rocket. Super start," said one commentator.

Martinez’s performance though didn’t come without hitches as the skater bungled after another triple-axel try. He looked tight at times but managed to pull through with a performance that generated applause from the crowd.

A day earlier, he registered a score of 64.81 in the short program to wound up at 19th and make it to the final round.

Martinez already made history by becoming the first skater from the Philippines and Southeast Asia to see action in the Winter Olympics.

The commentators, for their part, saw potential in the meek-looking Martinez.

“He’ll mature into a full performer,” said one analyst.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Sochi Olympics: Martinez ends up at 19th but gains attention of nation, world By Celest R. Flores INQUIRER.net 3:47 am | Saturday, February 15th, 2014 404 25.9K 24.9K


Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines competes in the men’s free skate figure skating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. AP/Ivan Sekretarev

MANILA, Philippines—He entered the biggest sporting stage with the modest goal of making it to the top 24 but Michael Martinez, the Philippines’ brave lone Winter Olympian, achieved way more than that.

In two nights, Martinez turned “triple Axel jump” into a household phrase and managed to make the entire nation rally behind him with his gutsy and inspired performances in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

With his routines scheduled near midnight in Manila time, it seemed like every Filipino stayed up to witness him make history on the rink—holding their breaths as he soared through a triple Axel, and crossing their fingers that Martinez won’t spill.

And the 17-year-old Martinez, the youngest among the seasoned competitors, definitely didn’t disappoint as he wound up 19th out of the top 24 at the close of the men’s figure skating competition.

He garnered a score of 64.81 in the short skate where he performed to the tune of “Romeo and Juliet,” then wowed in the free skate routine over the beat of “Malagueńa” to earn 119.44 for the total of 184.25.

The 19-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu handed Japan its first-ever gold medal in a record-setting fashion, Canada’s Patrick Chan bagged silver and Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten went home with the bronze medal.

Martinez held the top spot after the first six skaters but gradually slipped down to his final placing.

In fact, it wasn’t just the Filipinos who were enamored with the gangly Martinez, even the foreign media couldn’t help but be drawn to his inspiring story: a kid who started in a mall ice skating rink in the humid Manila who ended up in the medal round in the Olympics.

His story, including the sacrifices he and his family made just to be able to sustain his figure skating dreams, were heard by thousands as it was carried by major news outfits from all over the world.

And getting that sustained financial support for his build-up until the 2018 Winter games doesn’t seem like a far-fetched idea now with the immense promise Martinez showed.

He may not be going home with a shiny medal dangling from his neck, but Martinez gained the attention and respect of the not only the entire nation but also the world.

FROM PHILSTAR

$10K bonus awaits Martinez for Sochi stint (philstar.com) | Updated February 15, 2014 - 12:50am 7 10 googleplus0 0


Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines waves to spectators as he waits for his results after the men's free skate figure skating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

MANILA, Philippines – A reward of $10,000 awaits Filipino skater Michael Christian Martinez when he comes home after his noteworthy showing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

This after businessman and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan promised to hand Martinez the said cash incentive through the MVP Sports Foundation.

Pangilinan’s close associate Chot Reyes – also the head coach of Gilas Pilipinas – confirmed this on his Twitter account.

The 17-year-old Martinez, the Philippines’ lone representative to the Winter Olympics, proved his worth in the men’s figure skating competition with a couple of impressive performances.

He already made history by becoming the first skater from the Philippines and Southeast Asia to participate in the quadrennial event sports meet.

FROM GMA NEWS TV

David Beckham 'humbled' in visit to Yolanda victims in Tacloban February 14, 2014 4:44am 1937 193 0 2304


Former England soccer captain David Beckham greets victims of Typhoon Yolanda at an evacuation center in Tacloban City on Thursday, February 13. Local officials said Beckham is one of the biggest donors to Yolanda-devastated areas in the Visayas. Reuters/Erik De Castro

Former England soccer captain David Beckham visited the central Philippines on Thursday to meet with the survivors of a powerful typhoon.

Beckham went to an evacuation shelter in Tacloban City, one of the heavily hit areas still recovering from the aftermath from typhoon Yolanda's (Haiyan) devastation.


“I was humbled to visit Tacloban and see how people are still so full of spirit despite the devastation they have suffered. Close to 6 million children are affected and many have lost loved ones,” UNICEF UK quoted Beckham as saying.

“As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, seeing how children are being given a sense of normality amidst the rubble of their communities has been amazing. I want to show people around the world how their generous donations have had an enormous impact on children and their families and how thankful people here are for their kindness,” Beckham also said.

Hundreds of evacuees came to see the soccer icon as he greeted the survivors and spent time with children inside an evacuation tent managed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Typhoon survivor Lilibeth Sacramento was happy her two children who were fans of the soccer captain were able to see their idol up close.

"At least everybody's spirits were uplifted despite being hit by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), and we get to see them up close. That is a big thing," she said.

Beckham flew by private plane to the central Philippines as UNICEF's goodwill ambassador.

It was his second visit to the Philippines after an exhibition match with the Philippine national soccer team in 2011.

Beckham and his wife, Victoria, had raised funds to aid the typhoon victims by donating their clothes for auction.

The typhoon, one of the strongest typhoon recorded to ever hit land, devastated the central Philippines on November 8, killing at least 6,000 people and displacing millions. — with Reuters/ELR, GMA News

FROM MSN SPORTS NEWS CANADA

Michael Christian Martinez used to study Canada's Patrick Chan on YouTube.


Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines competes in the men's short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

SOCHI, Russia - Michael Christian Martinez used to study Canada's Patrick Chan on YouTube. In Sochi, the Filipino teen got the real deal.

The 17-year-old figure skater is the lone member of the Philippines Olympic team, and because he and Chan were the first two skaters to arrive in Sochi, they found themselves alone together during several practice sessions.

The Toronto skater befriended the Martinez, gave him some pointers and even invited him to dinner.

"It felt really great," Martinez said, with a big grin. "I feel like a champion because I'm skating with Patrick Chan, and I feel like a world champion also. . . the way he skated, the way his edges are, I was trying to copy him but I couldn't.

"He gave me some knowledge because before I was just watching him on YouTube. Now I can see how he really does bend his knees (etc.). . ."

Whatever instruction Chad provided certainly helped. On Thursday, Martinez finished 19th in the men's short and qualified for Friday's long program. Chan, a three-time world champion, was second in the short.

Chan, 23, had dinner with Martinez at the athletes village one night.

"He actually told me that I was official Canadian team (member)," Martinez said, laughing. "He was really friendly and kind. I really liked him. Surprisingly (nice) for a world champion.

"He congratulated me that I'm the lone Olympian for the Philippines."

Martinez's story in Sochi has captured the hearts of the people back home in the Philippines, where his face has been splashed across newspapers and television broadcasts.

The Philippines has never won a winter Olympic medal, and as the country's lone entry, Martinez also carried the flag in the opening ceremonies.

His mom, Maria Teresa Martinez, was in the crowd at the Iceberg Skating Palace top watch him compete in the men's short almost three hours before the top-ranked men — including Chan — were scheduled to take the ice.

Martinez, the first Olympic figure skater from Southeast Asia, was born in Paranaque City and took up the sport after seeing people skating at a mall — one of just three rinks in the Philippines, where it never snows.

He moved to Los Angeles to train for four months before travelling to Sochi, his mom telling CNN the family had to scrape the money together to send him through donations from friends, his skating club, and the shopping mall ice rink.

Maria also said she'd had to mortgage their home to finance his Olympic dream, adding the family's farm in Luzon province had been damaged by typhoons last year.

Martinez didn't look out of place Thursday night in his performance to Romeo and Juliet; his only major misstep was a two-foot landing on a triple toe loop.

"I was happy with my performance, I just missed the one jump," he said.

"I was really happy that everybody (back in the Philippines) is getting to know me, and they're now supporting me and praying for me for this competition."

Chan wins silver in men's figure skating


Darron Cummings-AP Photo -Patrick Chan of Canada competes in the men's free skate figure skating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 (© Darron Cummings-AP Photo)

SOCHI, Russia - Canada's Patrick Chan won silver in men's figure skating at the Sochi Games and in typical Canadian fashion says he is 'sorry'.

"I can't thank Canada enough for all the support I've had. I gave it my all in this program, I swear," said Chan. "All Canadians say 'sorry' and I'm sorry."


CANADA'S PATRICK CHAN SAY 'SORRY FOR MISSING GOLD'

Chan didn't have a clean program, touching the ice on one jump while falling on another to score 178.10 in the free skate. That gave him a total score of 275.62 and a place on the podium, just not the one he wanted.

"I'm really proud of myself for keeping it together and not going insane," said Chan in an interview with CBC after his skate. "I'm disappointed of course. I was this close to grasping the gold medal."

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, finished first after also falling twice en route to a 178.64 for 280.09 points.

Two skaters remained but neither could catch Hanyu or Chan.

Hanyu, a 19-year-old who lives and trains in Toronto with coach Brian Orser, set a world short-program record the previous night of 101.45, making him the first man in history to break the 100-point barrier.

The 23-year-old Chan, from Toronto, trailed Hanyu by four points going into the long program.

Chan was fifth at the 2010 Vancouver Games but has since won the world championships three straight times while mastering the quad jump.

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., who was hampered by a poor short program, finished with 222.23 points.

Canada has never had an Olympic champion in men's singles, but Canadians have captured four silver and four bronze. The last Canadian Olympic medallist was Jeffrey Buttle who won bronze in Turin in 2006.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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