Metro Manila · Michael Christian Martinez (* 4 November 1996)
Since he participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, ice skater Michael Martinez is one of the Philippines' latest national icons. The young man was the only athlete from the country and the first-ever figure skater from the tropical zone to qualify for the Olympics.
Martinez was born in Parañaque City, Metro Manila. During childhood he struggled with asthmatic bronchitis. He started skating at the age of 8 on the SM Ice Skating Rink in Mall of Asia, one of only a handful of ice skating rinks in the country. Since 2010 he would spend a couple of months each year in California for professional training.
Sport injuries forced him several times to stay off the ice for weeks or months, the last time in early 2014. He nevertheless kept pursueing his career, successfully participating in international competitions. This same year, he already finished 19th at the Winter Olympics, made the 1st place at the Skate Helena competition in Serbia and won the gold medal at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia.