SEA Games

Michael Martinez gets $10K bonus
Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez is praised for a historic performance

HISTORY. Michael Christian Martinez marks history as the Winter Olympics' first first and youngest Southeast Asian figure skater. File photo by How Hwee Young/EPA

MANILA, Philippines – Michael Christian Martinez, the lone Filipino Winter Olympian, gets a bonus.

In a tweet past midnight of Saturday, February 15, MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) executive director Chot Reyes said he e-mailed Martinez’s mother, Maria Terese Martinez, to inform her of a $10,000-bonus (P440,000) from the foundation, as authorized by business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan himself. 

He said this is to recognize the figure skater’s “historic” performance.

Reyes is also the head coach of Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine basketball team for the FIBA World Cup.

Martinez, 17, finished 19th at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics men’s figure skating finals on Saturday morning (Manila time), after he garnered a two-day total of 184.25 points: 64.81 for the short program, and 119.44 for his final free skate routine. He’s the youngest and the first Southeast Asian to compete at the Winter Olympics.

(IN PHOTOS: PH enters Top 24 at #Sochi2014)

(IN PHOTOS: Filipino Winter Olympian’s free skate routine)

Japan won the gold medal as Yuzuru Hanyu finished with a score of 280.09. Patrick Chan of Canada won silver, while Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten, who finished ninth after the short program, moved up to third place to earn bronze honors.

It was not smoothsailing for Martinez. His family had to mortgage their home so he can go to Russia as the first Filipino Winter Olympian in 22 years.

They reached out to President Benigno Aquino III, his mother said, but to no avail. (READ: The lone Filipino Winter Olympian). Malacañang, however, said its Records Office has no record of receiving said letter. The Palace would have responded to the appeal for financial help, it added. (READ: Palace: No letter received from Olympian’s mother)

Fortunately, with help from corporate sponsors, Martinez was able to network with coaches in international stints. He used his stipend to train in southern California. –

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