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Feb 12, 2014
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Have you guys heard of Olympic figure skater Michael Christian Martinez? Everybody's been talking about this kid!

Michael's the only Filipino athlete competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and if you see how astonishingly good he is, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's a travesty though that Pinoys are singing praises about him only now, because he's been winning gold medals for the country for years.

The 17-year-old hopeful is set to compete against the world's finest figure skaters tomorrow night (February 13, watch it on TV5 starting at 11 p.m.), and he's hoping to receive a lot of lovin' from his homeland.

So why does Michael deserve a hero's treatment? Allow us to count the reasons:

Because we live in a tropical country, for crying out loud. The fact that a Filipino managed to qualify in an Olympic sport that largely involves ice and snow is an achievement on its own.


Because his routine, which involves figure skating, ballet lessons, gym training, and off-ice rotation training, takes up six hours of his day, everyday.


Because there are only three skating rinks in the Philippines: the one in SM Mall of Asia, the one in SM Southmall, and the recently re-opened one in SM Megamall. And mind you, he managed to become good in a public rink full of strangers and bystanders. "My training is so different compared to others," admits Michael.


Because while it's true that he has received plenty of financial aid from several private sectors (including SM Prime President Han Sy and the Philippine Skating Union) en route to the Olympics, his early years as a figure skater proved to be extra difficult. Michael's mom claims that they had to mortgage their house to support his training.


NEXT: Because he's the first Pinoy to compete in the Winter Olympics in 22 years, plain and simple!