San Jose, California – We interrupt the news to bring you this very historic Philippine Olympic moment, direct from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia! Seventeen year-old Michael Christian Martinez skated to the music of “Romeo & Juliet” in the men’s short program of the figure skating competitions. The youngest of the 30 competitors, Michael finished No. 19 and made it to the “magic 24” that will advance to the free skate program on February 14. He is the first Filipino and Southeast Asian figure skater to earn a spot at the Winter Olympics.
Sochi, Russia – American figure skater Ashley Wagner took to the ice Saturday to skate to the music of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” during the team ladies short program. After weeks of being in the media spotlight because of criticism regarding her being on the U.S. Olympic team, Wagner was focused on one thing and one thing only: to keep the U.S. in contention for a medal in the team figure skating competition.
Then the unexpected happened. When the music played, it wasn’t Pink Floyd at all. It was Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3.” Apparently, the Russians wanted to sabotage Team U.S.A., sending armed government agents to the sound control booth at the Iceberg Skating Palace. They ordered the sound technician to replace Wagner’s music with the Russian classic.
To her coach’s and teammates’ surprise, Wagner started her routine as if she was skating to her original chosen music. It paid off quite well. Wagner received a composite score of 63.10, skating a clean program and assuring the U.S. team a solid third place going into the finals.
Something may have gone wrong, but Wagner made it right!
Sochi, Russia – For a country that has never experienced snowfall, or seen ice other than in the local favorite shaved ice snack called halo-halo, it is quite impressive that the Philippines will have the biggest delegation in this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics, next only to the United States.
After a 22-year absence, the Philippines will be represented in the Winter Olympics by figure skater, 17-year-old Michael Christian Martinez, who will carry the red, white, blue and yellow Philippine flag at tomorrow’s opening ceremony. Marching behind Martinez will be his mother, father, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, godparents, cousins, in-laws, pastor of his Catholic church parish in his native Muntinlupa, principal and his entire class at his school, his coach and coach’s wife and children, his hairdresser, costume designer, massage therapist, personal physician and nurse and some unnamed Philippine senators, congressmen and local officials handpicked by Philippine president NoyNoy Aquino.
(This is far from unusual, as far as the Philippines is concerned. It is consistent with a revered Filipino tradition called sabit meaning “to cling.”)
One hundred million Filipinos will be watching the opening ceremony and cheering for their favorite “son.” It could yet break records in terms of television viewership in the Philippines and might surpass the record numbers during Manny Pacquiao’s boxing fights or the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant.
The Adobo Chronicles wishes Martinez all the best in the skating competition.