Vicente: Helping out an athlete-A A +A
Thursday, February 13, 2014
WITH so many pressing issues in our country today where would a 17 year old ice skater fit in? How could he get attention in order to get some financial support from our government who only rides on the popularity when it has already become viral in media?
Although the Philippines is a tropical country where snow falling is almost at zero probability the affair of Martinez with the ice started in 2005 after discovering the sport in a shopping mall ice rink and started to competitively compete in 2008. In the record of the International Skating Union on Martinez’ biography, he is the first skater from the Philippines to compete in the Olympic Winter Games (in 2014) and the first to perform a triple Axel in competition.
Despite the international stints of Martinez and his continuing quest for the Olympic Gold for his beloved country, those in the government has yet to extend their support to this young and determined lad who holds on to God, his coach and number one supporter Mrs. Martinez, his ever supportive mother.
His mother and his family had to mortgage their home just to support Michael’s international competitions. Mrs. Martinez even tried to write the Office of the President but got no answer from it or any other government agencies.
As an athlete who has access to media I feel for Michael and would like to help raise awareness about his sad story. He is like a soldier whose worth will only be noticed if he wins a battle. In this case when Michael brings home a medal most especially the Philippine’s first Olympic Gold medal. But what about the sacrifices and the hard work? What about the preparations and the financial constraints? Is the government really unsympathetic that it only goes along for the ride when already off the bumpy part?
“No funds” will be the lame excuse government will use when this issue gets out of hand. With the various scandals and controversial fund issues the government is facing, it is difficult for people and the media to believe nothing could be done to help this ice skating hero who only wants to bring honor to our country. How sad that he is left alone without a back up artillery.
If this article could contribute to the pinch to relay the message to the authorities then I would have served my purpose as a messenger.
Good Luck to Michael Martinez and his quest for the gold. We are all praying for you and for the authorities, too.
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Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 14, 2014.