(23 February 2014, Pasay City, Philippines) Olympic skater Michael Martinez has finally come home after a dramatic 22-day journey at Sochi, Russia for the Winter Olympics. At only 17 years old, Martinez brought much honor to the country by being the very first home grown figure skater to represent the Philippines in the Winter Olympics; more so, he is the first from Southeast Asia. He ranked 19th overall in the men's singles, a big jump from his 30th rank upon qualifying for the Olympics, amongst thousands of aspirants.
First stop: SM Mall of Asia, where he learned his fancy moves on the mall’s ice skating rinks, one of them being his famous rendition of the Biellman spin--a technique that only he executed among all the participants, showcasing his grace and flexibility. Coming home to a hero’s warm welcome, the shy yet zealous Olympian was feted with gifts and surprises. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. President Hans Sy came up with the biggest surprise by awarding Martinez with a USD$10,000 cheque from SM Foundation, Inc.
SM also gave Martinez a Lifetime Skating Privilege which allows him to skate for free on any of SM’s skating rinks. Martinez was also presented with a Global Pinoy Card. SM believes in rewarding each and every hardworking Filipino who has achieved success abroad. In this light, the Global Pinoy Centers count Filipino stars such as Martinez and Manny Pacquiao as honorary cardholders and all other hardworking OFWs that have sacrificed to make life better for their loved ones and for the country.
And as a show of further appreciation from his SM family, Martinez also received various gifts from other SM companies such as gift certificates and cash cards from The SM Store, SM Supermarket, China Banking Corporation and a free three-day/ two-night accommodation at SM's heritage Taal Vista Hotel.
Next stop, his fans can catch Martinez dazzle on the ice as he gives a special performance at SM Southmall on February 24 at 4PM. Fans and friends will also have a chance to meet and greet Martinez as he performs on February 25 at Mall of Asia at 12 Noon and 4PM at SM Megamall.
Martinez's homecoming is sweet, but will be cut short as he soon heads out to Sofia, Bulgaria. He is set to compete on March 10-16 in the prestigious World Junior Figure Skating Championships where he ranked 5th overall in 2013. Martinez aims to earn a medal this time following his experience at and training for the Winter Olympics. Thereafter, Martinez will train in the United States for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Championships series which will start in August. Martinez frequented SM Southmall in Las Pinas in his early years and much later on in SM Mall of Asia for figure skating competitions despite frequent bouts of asthma.
Since skating at 8 years old, Martinez has garnered 194 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions. Martinez clinched 7th place at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany that qualified him for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Through the years, SM and the SM-sponsored Philippine Skating Union have conducted several figure skating competitions that have given birth to international champions such as Martinez.
The excellence demonstrated by skaters especially during competitions is a mark of quality that the SM Skating Rink can provide with its world-class venue and facilities. Property conglomerate SM Prime Holdings, Inc. operates skating rinks through SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, and SM Southmall in Las Pinas.
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For information, contact:
Ms. Nicole Deato
AVP and Business Unit Head for Educational and Leisure Centers
SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
Mr. Steven Tan
Vice President, Premier Division
Monday, February 24, 2014