Michael Christian Martinez

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Michael Christian Martinez
Michael Christian Martinez SM skating a.jpg
Martinez in 2018
Personal information
Full nameMichael Christian Martinez
Country represented Philippines
Born (1996-11-04) November 4, 1996 (age 25)
Parañaque, Philippines
Home townMuntinlupa, Philippines
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
CoachNikolai Morozov
Former coachVyacheslav Zahorodnyuk
Igor Samohin
Ilia Kulik
Peter Kongkasem
Maria Teresa Martinez
John Nicks
Viktor Kudriavtsev
ChoreographerPhilip Mills
Former choreographerJustin Dillon
Skating clubMetro ISC
Training locationsLake Forest, California
Former training locationsHackensack, New Jersey
Metro Manila, Philippines
Began skating2005
World standing94 (As of May 2018)[1]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total220.36
2015 Cup of China
Short program74.45
2014 CS Golden Spin
Free skate148.12
2015 Cup of China

Michael Christian Martinez (born November 4, 1996) is a Filipino Olympic figure skater. He is the 2015 Asian Figure Skating Trophy champion, a two-time Triglav Trophy champion and has won one ISU Challenger Series medal, silver at the 2014 Warsaw Cup. Martinez is the first skater from Southeast Asia and from a tropical country to qualify for the Olympics, was the only athlete to represent the Philippines at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and was one of only two to represent the Philippines at the 2018 Winter Olympics.[2]

Early life[edit]

Martinez was born on November 4, 1996, in Parañaque,[3] the youngest of three children.[4] He began experiencing asthmatic bronchitis at two months old and was frequently in the hospital.[3] Although a cold rink initially had a detrimental effect, he stated in 2014 that, "year after year my health keeps improving, so my mother fully supported me to continue skating. She said it's better to spend the money on skating than in the hospital."[5] Martinez graduated from high school in 2013.[6]


Early years[edit]

Martinez began skating in 2005 at the SM Southmall ice rink.[7] In 2009, he missed two months after a skating blade cut his thigh.[3] In addition to training in Manila, in 2010 he began spending several months a year in California, United States working with John Nicks and Ilia Kulik.[5][8]

Martinez debuted on the ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) series in the 2010–11 season. In 2011, he tore two ligaments in his ankle, leading to three months of recovery.[3] In April 2012, he tore a medial ligament in his knee and was off the ice for three months.[3][8]

2012–13 season: First senior international title[edit]

Martinez landed his first triple Axel jump in competition at a 2012 JGP event in Lake Placid, New York.[8] He placed 6th at a JGP competition in Zagreb, Croatia.

At the 2012 Crystal Skate of Romania, Martinez won his first senior international title, also a first for the Philippines. He finished fifth in his second appearance at the 2013 World Junior Figure Skating Championships and set a new personal-best overall score of 191.64 points. A fractured ankle kept him off the ice for two months in 2013.[3]

2013–14 season: Sochi Olympics[edit]

Martinez executing a Biellmann spin at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy

Martinez started his season at the 2013 JGP Latvia where he finished 4th. He then competed on the senior level at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy, the last qualifying event for the 2014 Winter Olympics. He finished 7th and earned a spot for the Philippines in men's singles — a first for his country.[9] Martinez then competed at the 2013 JGP Estonia and won his first JGP medal, a bronze. In January 2014, he received treatment for an inflamed knee.[10] He withdrew from the 2014 Four Continents Championships but competed at Skate Helena and took the gold medal.

The first skater in the Winter Olympics to come from Southeast Asia, Martinez was also the only athlete representing the Philippines at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and served as his country's flagbearer at the opening ceremony. Viktor Kudriavtsev coached him for one month leading up to the Olympics.[11] At the Olympics, Martinez qualified for the free skate after placing 19th in the short program with a score of 64.81 points, a season best. He scored 119.44 in the free skate and finished 19th overall with a total score of 184.25.[12][13]

MVP Sports Foundation supported the skater and announced a bonus of $10,000 after the Olympics.[14] He was named an adopted son of Pasay by Mayor Antonino Calixto.[15]

Recovering from a recurring knee injury after the Olympics, Martinez was replaced by Christopher Caluza at the 2014 World Championships. He returned to competition in April at the Triglav Trophy, where he won the gold medal. In June 2014, he began training at Hackensack, New Jersey's Ice House, under the guidance of Nikolai Morozov.[16]

2014–15 season: Challenger Series medal[edit]

Making his ISU Challenger Series (CS) debut, Martinez finished sixth overall at the Lombardia Trophy. He was assigned to his first senior Grand Prix event, the 2014 Skate America.[17] In his short program, he fell on his triple Axel, but landed all his other jumps and received level fours on his camel spin, his flying sit spin, and his step sequence; he finished ninth.[18] He also placed ninth in the free skate, falling on his triple Axel, under-rotating his triple toe in the triple Lutz-triple toe combination, and stepping out in his double Axel towards the end of the program.[19] Martinez finished tenth overall.[20]

In November 2014, Martinez competed at the CS Warsaw Cup where he won the silver medal behind Russia's Alexander Petrov. Martinez posted new personal-best scores with a total of 213.38 points.[21] Martinez competed in his first Worlds at the 2015 World Championships, finishing in 21st position.

2015–16 season: Asian Trophy title[edit]

Martinez withdrew from several summer competitions due to ongoing therapy and rehabilitation for his spine. He also was unable to compete at the 2015 CS U.S. International Classic due to acute asthma.[22]

He started his season by winning gold at the 2015 Asian Figure Skating Trophy, becoming the first Filipino to win the event. He then competed at 2015 Cup of China where he finished 6th with a new personal-best overall score of 220.36 points. He placed 4th at the 2015 CS Warsaw Cup and 7th at the 2015 CS Golden Spin of Zagreb.

Martinez went on to achieve his best placements at senior ISU Championships. In February, he finished 9th out of 23 competitors at the 2016 Four Continents Championships in Taipei. Competing a month later at the 2016 World Championships in Boston, he finished 19th out of 30 competitors. Due to inconsistency in training, he dropped his original plan of including a quad jump, deciding to include the jump the following season.[23]

2016–17 season[edit]

At the 2017 Four Continents Championships, Martinez placed 14th in the short program, free skate and overall. At the 2017 Asian Winter Games, a multi-sport event held every four years, he placed 7th in the short program, 9th in the free skate, and 9th overall.[citation needed] At the 2017 World Championships, Martinez placed 24th in the short program and free skate, as well as overall.[24]

2017–18 season : Pyeongchang Olympics[edit]

Martinez repeats his 2018 Winter Olympic Games routine at the SM Mall of Asia ice skating rink.

At the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, Martinez won silver behind Malaysia's Julian Yee.[25] In September, he placed 8th at the 2017 CS Nebelhorn Trophy, the final qualifying opportunity for the 2018 Winter Olympics.[26] Due to his result, his country did not qualify in figure skating but finished as the first alternate.[27] Sometime after the Nebelhorn Trophy competition, considering the end of his sponsorship, he decided to retire from figure skating to return to business law studies and be assistant in a Law Office,[28] altogether with body building, bulking up to 75 kg (165 lb) from his usual 66 kg (146 lb).[29]

In January 2018, after Sweden relinquished its Olympic spot, it was transferred to the Philippines, allowing Martinez to compete in South Korea.[27] He returned to training under coach Slava Zagor and adopted a crash diet, managing to reduce his weight to 68 kg (150 lb). The short program of the figure skating men's singles at the 2018 Winter Olympics was contested on February 16, 2018. Martinez was the sixth to perform, skating to the tune of “Emerald Tiger” by Vanessa-Mae, garnering a total of 55.56 points[29] finishing 28th out of 30 competitors.[30] He failed to advance to the free skate after not placing among the top 24.[29] Had he advanced, he planned skate to the songs “El Tango de Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge! and “Tango de los Exilados” in the free skate program, which were the same songs he used in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.[31]

Despite failing to advance, Tom Carrasco, the chef de mission of Philippine delegation to the Games remarked that Martinez did his best given the skater's "condition and circumstances" and the official relayed that Zagor described Martinez's short program as "not a bad performance".[29]

2018–21 : Hiatus[edit]

After the Pyeongchang stint, Martinez said he will not retire and will just rest for a short while. He has stated that he will prepare for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.[32] Though in September 2018, Martinez's break from the sport has been described as an indefinite leave with no time table on when he will resume skating.[33] He also went on to become a coach and a social media influencer in the United States; he has been occasionally frequenting the country since 2010.[34]

Martinez did not participate in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, with the Philippine Skating Union saying that he declined take part in the national qualifiers.[35] However it was later reported that his non-participation was due to a miscommunication between Martinez and the sports federation.[34]

Though in 2019, he didn't engage in competitive skating, Martinez maintained his fitness by doing workouts and routines. By December 2019, Martinez is already part of a new management team, DigiStar PH. It is reported that he will resume training in 2020.[36]

2021– : Return[edit]

Martinez remarked that he has made mistakes in his life and vowed to return to competitive skating intending to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics. He began training with New Jersey-based Russian coach Nikolai Morozov. However amidst to the COVID-19 pandemic, Martinez has returned to the Philippines in June 2020 where his training was limited to outside the skating rink due to pandemic-related measures. His immediate goal is to qualify for the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships[34] but was not able to do so.

On April 7, 2021, Martinez declared himself to be "officially back on ice" and plans to join the CS Nebelhorn Trophy in September 2021 as part of a bid to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics. He started a fundraising for his campaign[37] with his management team, Virtual Playground and the Philippine Skating Federation helping him secure sponsors.[38]

The Philippine Skating Union is limited to one entry for each gender for the Nebelhorn Trophy, with Martinez having to contend against Christopher Caluza and Edrian Celestino for the berth in the federation's Olympic Qualifier Evaluation.[39] However due to an injury, Martinez decided foregoing his bid to qualify for the Nebelhorn Trophy, consequentially for the Winter Olympics.[40]


Martinez at the 2012 World Junior Championships
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
  • Requiem For A Dream
    arranged and re-orchestrated by Jonas Kvarnström and Escala
  • Requiem For A Tower
    arranged and re-orchestrated by Jonas Kvarnström and Escala
  • Halo
    performed by LaVanceColley

Competitive highlights[edit]

GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

Event 09–10 10–11 11–12 12–13 13–14 14–15 15–16 16–17 17–18 21–22
Olympics 19th 28th
Worlds 21st 19th 24th
Four Continents 16th WD WD 9th 14th
GP Cup of China 6th
GP Skate America 10th
CS Cup of Austria 23rd
CS Finlandia 9th 24th
CS Golden Spin 6th 7th
CS Lombardia 6th
CS Nebelhorn 8th
CS Warsaw Cup 2nd 4th
Asian Trophy 1st
Asian Games 9th
Crystal Skate 1st
Nebelhorn 7th
New Year's Cup 3rd
NRW Trophy 13th
Skate Helena 1st
SEA Games 2nd
Triglav Trophy 1st 1st
U.S. Classic 6th
Volvo Open Cup 4th 5th
International: Junior or novice[51]
Junior Worlds 15th 5th
Youth Olympics 7th
JGP Australia 8th
JGP Croatia 6th
JGP Estonia 3rd
JGP Japan 17th
JGP Latvia 4th
JGP U.S. 4th
Tirnavia 1st N.
Philippine Champs. 3rd 1st
N. = Novice level; TBD = Assigned; WD = Withdrew

Detailed results[edit]

2021–22 season
Date Event SP FS Total
November 11–14, 2021 2021 CS Cup of Austria 25
October 7–10, 2021 2021 CS Finlandia Trophy 23
2017–18 season
Date Event SP FS Total
September 27–30, 2017 2017 CS Nebelhorn Trophy 8
August 26–27, 2017 2017 Southeast Asian Games 2
2016–17 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 29–April 2, 2017 2017 World Championships 24
February 23–26, 2017 2017 Asian Winter Games 7
February 16–19, 2017 2017 Four Continents Championships 14
2015–16 season
Date Event SP FS Total
November 27–29, 2015 2015 Warsaw Cup 6
November 5–8, 2015 2015 Cup of China 7
October 8–11, 2015 2015 Finlandia Trophy 7
August 5–8, 2015 2015 Asian Figure Skating Trophy 1
2014–15 season
Date Event SP FS Total
April 16–19, 2015 2015 Triglav Trophy 5
March 23–29, 2015 2015 World Championships 22
November 21–24, 2014 2014 Golden Spin 4
November 21–24, 2014 2014 Warsaw Cup 2
October 24–26, 2014 2014 Skate America 9
September 21–22, 2014 2014 Lombardia Trophy 6


  1. ^ "ISU World Standings for Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance : Men". International Skating Union. December 17, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  2. ^ "Athlete Profile: Michael Christian Martinez". Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Michael Christian MARTINEZ". Sochi2014.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2014.
  4. ^ Payo, Jasmine W. (February 25, 2014). "Michael Martinez seeks podium finish in 2018 Games". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  5. ^ a b Park, Madison (February 14, 2014). "A first for Southeast Asia: An Olympic figure skater". CNN.
  6. ^ Leyba, Olmin (April 25, 2013). "PH skater chases Olympic dream". The Philippine Star. abs-cbnnews.com.
  7. ^ a b "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2011/2012". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Flade, Tatjana (September 2, 2012). "Martinez puts the Philippines on the map for figure skating". Golden Skate.
  9. ^ "Nebelhorn Trophy - Olympic Qualifying Event - Review". International Skating Union. September 28, 2013. Archived from the original on October 28, 2013.
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  11. ^ McCarvel, Nicholas (February 5, 2014). "Michael Christian Martinez, figure skater from the Philippines, makes Olympic history". NBC.
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  13. ^ "Men Free Skating". Sochi2014.com. February 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "MVP Sports Foundation grants $10k bonus for Michael Christian Martinez". Interaksyon. February 15, 2014.
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  16. ^ Tagala, Don (June 5, 2014). "PH Olympian Michael Martinez levels up with new coach". ABS-CBN News.
  17. ^ "July 10, 2014" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2014.
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  21. ^ "Warsaw Cup 2014 – Men – Final Results". ISU Results. International Skating Union. November 23, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
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  23. ^ Henson, Joaquin (April 17, 2016). "Martinez ends ISU season on high note". The Philippine Star. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  24. ^ "Michael Christian Martinez finishes last in World Championships final". Rappler. April 1, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  25. ^ Bracher, Jane (August 27, 2017). "Michael Christian Martinez earns SEA Games silver in men's figure skating". Rappler.
  26. ^ Leongson, Randolph (October 1, 2017). "Martinez fails to qualify for 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics". The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  27. ^ a b "Figure skater Michael Martinez claims Olympics seat". The Philippine Star. January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  28. ^ "Just skating at the Olympics is a win for Michael Christian Martinez | NBC Olympics". www.nbcolympics.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c d "Winter Olympics: Pinoy figure skater Michael Martinez bows out in preliminaries". ABS-CBN News. Reuters, ABS-CBN. February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  30. ^ Mather, Victor; Longman, Jeré (February 16, 2018). "Olympics Figure Skating Live Results: Yuzuru Hanyu Leads; Nathan Chen Stumbles". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  31. ^ Henson, Joaquin (February 1, 2018). "Michael Martinez adjusts music for Olympics". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  32. ^ Bigtas, Jannielyn Ann (February 20, 2018). "Michael Martinez to rest but 2019 SEA Games already 'in my mind'". GMA News. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  33. ^ Lozada, Meilin (September 6, 2018). "Figure-skater Michael Martinez takes indefinite leave. He explains why". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  34. ^ a b c Henson, Joaquin (February 3, 2021). "Martinez aims for third Olympics". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  35. ^ Leongson, Randolph (November 29, 2019). "Here's why Olympian Michael Martinez isn't competing in SEA Games". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  36. ^ Lokin, Michiko (December 28, 2019). "Figure skater Michael Martinez gears up for comeback". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  37. ^ "Michael Martinez raising funds for Winter Olympics campaign". ABS-CBN News. April 11, 2021. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  38. ^ "Skating body helping Martinez' 2022 Winter Olympics bid". CNN Philippines. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  39. ^ Morales, Luisa (August 20, 2021). "Celestino, Frank named Philippine bets in Winter Olympics qualifier". The Philippine Star. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  40. ^ "Olympic figure skater Michael Martinez will miss 2022 Winter Games". ABS-CBN News. August 20, 2021. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  41. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2021/2022". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on October 7, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  42. ^ @TropicalFrost (April 6, 2017). "#MCMHomecoming @Martinezfrost3 will be skating to Carmina Burana for his 2017-2018 short program" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  43. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2017/2018". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on October 17, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  44. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2016/2017". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017.
  45. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2015/2016". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016.
  46. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2014/2015". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on December 29, 2014.
  47. ^ "PH Olympian Michael Martinez levels up with new coach". June 5, 2014.
  48. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2013/2014". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on February 15, 2014.
  49. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2012/2013". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013.
  50. ^ "Michael Christian MARTINEZ: 2010/2011". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010.
  51. ^ a b c "Competition Results: Michael Christian MARTINEZ". International Skating Union.

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by Flagbearer for  Philippines
Sochi 2014
Succeeded by