MANILA, Philippines — The country’s lone representative to the Winter Olympics, Michael Martinez, wowed the crowd with his performance in the men’s figure skating event in Sochi, Russia.
The 17-year-old, the youngest among the 30 competitors in the men’s short program event, garnered a component score of 31.50 and technical score of 33.31 for a total of 64.81 points.
Martinez was the fifth performer among the 30 contestants.
“That was fantastic, until the early on we’ve been treated to some wonderful performance. I said it was gonna be good. To be honest i think it was gonna be quite this good,” said one of the commentators.
The Filipino skater included a triple axle, a triple loop and the “Mr. Freak Move,” which had himself leaning backwards to the ice.
After his performance, he proudly showed his jacket which had the print “Philippines” on it.
The crowd in the 12,000-seater Iceberg Skating Palace was heard roaring and applauding at Martinez.
“There you go, I never heard that before,” the commentator said after hearing the spectators cheering.
“Well done, you could be very proud of yourself,” he added, addressing the Filipino.
“I think he has a big future because he doesn’t train as much in the Philippines, but he actually does still skate at home,” said the other commentator.
Martinez gained the admiration of Filipino fans after becoming the first Filipino and Southeast Asian ever to compete in the men’s figures skating in the Winter Olympics.
The 17-year-old gained qualification for the men’s event in Sochi when he finished 7th in the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany
His other accomplishments include a senior international title at the 2012 Crystal Skate of Romania, a fifth-place finish at the 2013 World Junior Championships and a fourth-place finish at the 2013 JGP Latvia.