Manila, Philippines – Philippine Senator Nancy Binay stayed past her usual bedtime so she could be among the first to learn the fate of the Philippines’ lone representative to the Sochi Winter Olympics who was scheduled to skate in the men’s final program last night, Philippine time.
Binay and her excited aides intensely watched, cheered, and screamed as Michael Christian Martinez executed his free skate routine to the music of “Malagueña.” They sighed as Martinez touched the ice with his hands after performing a triple axel. Martinez skated 3rd among the first group of finalists.
When the screen flashed the standings after the sixth skater, it showed Martinez in first place.
Pandemonium filled Binay’s TV room in her plush residence in Makati and champagne flowed endlessly.
Binay then asked her aide to put in a call to Martinez’s cell phone so that she can personally congratulate him on behalf of the Filipino people for winning the Philippines’ first ever gold medal at the Olympics. She got Martinez’s voicemail and left a congratulatory message. “I’m very proud of you Michael,” she said, “and I will make sure you will come home to a huge welcome parade when you return to Manila.”
Martinez, of course was unavailable to answer his cell phone because he was at the Iceberg Skating Pavilion watching the other 18 competitors still to skate. Martinez ended in 19th place when the competition was concluded.
Nancy Binay is from the family of elected politicans that includes the Philippine Vice President, the mayor of Makati, and a Congresswoman.