Michael Martinez to Compete in Skating Grand Prix

(30 July 2014, Pasay City, Philippines) Philippine Olympian Michael Martinez will vie in the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating (Grand Prix) which starts on October 24 until December 14, 2014. He will be the only Filipino and Southeast Asian to compete in this year’s prestigious Grand Prix Series.
The Grand Prix is a series of senior international figure skating competitions in the 2014 to 2015 season. Medals will be awarded in the disciplines of men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. Skaters will earn points based on their placement at each event and the top six in each discipline will qualify to compete at the Grand Prix Final to be held in Barcelona, Spain.
“The youth and the promotion of athletic excellence through our facilities, programs, events and schools are among our primary advocacies. Michael Martinez is a homegrown talent and a role model for today’s youth as he sets his sights even higher. We fully support his dreams to continue to represent the Philippines and to place in the next Winter Olympics,” SM Prime Holdings, Inc. President Hans T. Sy said.
Martinez is set to compete in the Hilton Hhonors Skate America in Chicago, Illinois from October 24 to 26, 2014 and is the first of six events that make up the 2014 Grand Prix Series. Martinez was one of the select few invited by the organizing committee to compete in the prestigious event.
Other stops include Skate Canada, LEXUS Cup of China, Trophee Eric Bompard in France, Rostelecom Cup in Russia and NHK Trophy in Japan.
Skaters earn points throughout the Grand Prix Series to qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The 2014 Grand Prix Final will be held on December 11 to 14 in Spain.
Organized by the ISU, the Grand Prix series sets the stage for the 2015 European, Four Continents, and World Championships. The corresponding series for junior-level skaters will be the 2014–15 ISU Junior Grand Prix.
Martinez will be competing against world and Olympic medalists the likes of Tatsuki Machida of Japan, Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, Jeremy Abbott of the USA and Artur Gachinski of Russia. 
Martinez, who ranks 27th in the world clinched his first senior international title championship, also a first for the Philippines at the 2012 Crystal Skate held in Brazov, Romania.  In 2013 to 2014, Martinez started his season at the 2013 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Latvia where he finished 4th. He later placed third in the Junior Grand Prix in Estonia in October 2013. He also competed at the Nebelhorn Trophy senior level in Germany in September 2013. The Nebelhorn Trophy was the last qualifying event for the 2014 Winter Olympics where Martinez finished 7th overall, thus earning a spot for the Philippines in men's singles — a first for his country and in Southeast Asia. At the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Martinez finished 19th.
Martinez took up figure skating when he was eight, inspired by skaters spinning and jumping while shopping with his mother at SM Southmall. He began training in 2010 in the United States and since then his lifelong dream has been to win an Olympic medal. Martinez has garnered over 190 medals and trophies from various international and local competitions.  
Through the years, SM and the Philippine Skating Union (PSU) 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. 
Sidebar photo:
SM signs a contract with Michael Martinez to fund his bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Under the four-year contract, SM will provide an endowment of P36 million to support Martinez’s training. Shown in the photo during the signing ceremony are: Nicole Deato, Assistant Vice President for Education and Leisure Centers at SM LEI; Teresa Martinez; Michael Martinez; Edgar Tejerero, President of SM LEI; and Carmen Linda Atayde, Executive Director for Education Programs at SM Foundation, Inc. 
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About SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated or SMLEI is the lifestyle and entertainment solutions company of SM Prime Holdings Inc. that offers the best in movies, events, leisure and technology. Starting with SM Cinema, the largest cinema exhibitor in the country, as its sole marque, the company grew into 12 major brands. Currently tucked under its belt are brands such as Director’s Club Cinema, IMAX Theatre, WM Cinemas, SM Skating Rink, SM Bowling and Leisure Center, Exploreum, Snack Time, ePLUS and SM Tickets.  SMLEI aims to promote bonding activities among Filipino families and friends, through entertainment and leisure facilities, while advocating the ease of use and personalized service created to complement the Filipino lifestyle.
For information, contact:
Mr. Noel Resultay
Executive Director
Philippine Skating Union
Tel. No.: (+63917) 8317228
Ms. Stephanie Henares
Manager, PR and Social Corporate Marketing
SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
Tel No.: (+63917) 5778374 
Wednesday, July 30, 2014