Sochi, Russia – In 2018, he will be 21; she will be 24. He is Michael Christian Martinez, lone Filipino athlete in the Sochi Winter Olympics, and the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to compete in Olympic figure skating. She is Anne Line Gzersem, first Olympic figure skater for Norway in 50 years; half Filipina. Both made their Olympic debut with impressive performances, qualifying them for the free skate finals. No one expected them to medal in Sochi, but all eyes are set for Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.
During his short program, Martinez skated to the music of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ But obviously something, or someone, was missing. There was no Juliet. But maybe there will be in 2018.
The Adobo Chronicles learned from very reliable sources that the Martinez and Gzersem camps are engaged in serious negotiations to have the skaters compete as a pair in 2018. Their respective coaches saw a synergy of technical skill, ice presence and vibrant youth that would make their proteges a skating pair to contend with at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. But one big question — and perhaps the only question – remains: which country will the pair represent? The Philippines? Norway?
The Philippine camp argues that since both skaters have a Filipino connection, they should represent the Philippines. The Norway camp, on the other hand, says that the skaters will have a better chance representing the Scandinavian country because of its history and record with the Winter Olympics and a wealth of trainers and winter training facilities compared to the tropical Philippines.