MANILA, Philippines – Winter Olympian Michael Christian Martinez and Fil-Am Samantha Cabiles are set to compete in the Triglav Trophy International Figure Skating Competition in Jesenice, Slovenia from April 2 to 6, 2014.
The Philippine Skating Union (PhSU), which is a member of the International Skating Union (ISU), is sending Martinez to the Senior Men’s category and Cabiles to the Junior Ladies’ category.
Every year since 1992, the Triglav Trophy gathers over 100 of the best young figure skaters from all over the world. The competition is hosted at the Jesenice ice hall Podmežakla. Olympic medalists like Shizuka Arakawa, Stephane Lambiel, Yuna Kim, and Evan Lysacek have competed on the Jesenice ice.
Martinez took up figure skating when he was eight, inspired by the sight of skaters spinning and jumping while shopping with his mother at SM Southmall. He began training in 2010 in the United States, and since then his lifelong dream has been to win an Olympic medal. Martinez has garnered over 190 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions.
The 17-year-old Paranaque City native Martinez captivated the nation in February at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, when he placed 19th as the first South East Asian to compete in figure skating. He was also the Philippines’ lone Winter Olympian.
(RELATED: The lone Filipino Winter Olympian)
Martinez was supposed to compete in the Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Bulgaria last month, but withdrew with an injury.
Cabiles, who was born in Hawaii and is now based in Michigan, has been skating since she was 11. Of Filipino decent, the 17-year-old Cabiles also competes in the Philippine Nationals and recently ranked second in the 2013 Philippine National Figure Skating Championships held at SM Mall of Asia every year. Cabiles also placed 10th in the Junior category of the recent Dragon Trophy competition in Ljubjana, Slovenia in February 2014.
She trains in Toronto, Canada and has earned the nickname “The Skating Gazelle” due to her high and powerful jumps.
Since 2006, the PhSu has been accredited the ISU, which is the lone skating organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee. SM has been the chief benefactor of the PhSu since the organization was established in 2005. – Rappler.com