MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Filipino ice skater Michael Martinez made Olympic history when he qualified for the medal round of the men's figure skating event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia on Thursday.
Martinez, the youngest among the 30 competitors in the event, garnered a component score of 31.50 and technical score of 33.31 for a total of 64.81 points in the short program, which is good enough to place him among the top 24 competitors.
The 17-year-old was visibly nervous as he was seen warming his hands and tapping his sides before his routine.
“Here is history in the making… very flexible skater, the first ever from the Philippines. He’s the first Filipino to have ever landed a triple axel in competition, very charismatic performer,” said the female commentator before Martinez began performing to the tune of Arthur Fielder’s Romeo and Juliet.
When the music began, however, he waved away any jitters and delivered an unforgettable performance.
He completed several triple axels, a triple loop, and the "Mr. Frick Move," which had himself leaning backwards to the ice.
Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines holds up a jacket at the "kiss and cry" area after his figure skating men's short program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 13, 2014. Lucy Nicholson, Reuters
"Well, that was fantastic, until the early on we've been treated to some wonderful performance. I said it was gonna be good. To be honest, I think it was gonna be quite this good," said the male commentator.
After his performance, he proudly showed his jacket which had the print "Philippines" on it.
The crowd in the 12,000-seater Iceberg Skating Palace was heard roaring and applauding for Martinez.
"There you go, I never heard that before," the commentator said after hearing the spectators cheering.
"Well done, you could be very proud of yourself," he added, addressing the Filipino.
Martinez will next compete in the free skate, which is the medal round, on Friday.