The World Juniors competition, which is open to skaters 13 to 19 years old, is one of the most prestigious figure skating events sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU). Throughout history, great skaters have competed and won in this renowned tournament including the likes of Martinez’s coach and Olympic gold medallist Ilia Kulik
, Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko
, the United States’ Kristi Yamaguchi
and the 2014 Olympic Champions Yuzuru Hanyu
and Adelina Sotnikova
Martinez will compete in the Junior Men Single category and will face off against 38 countries from around the world including Asian countries like China, Malaysia, South Korea and Taipei. Martinez, who placed fifth in the World Juniors
in 2013 in Milan, Italy, will render a performance under the short program qualifying round. If he lands on the top 24, he will participate in the free skate round.
“Depending on the results of the (World Junior) competition, we will decide on whether Michael will participate in the World Junior or World Senior next season,” his mother, Maria Teresa Martinez said.
Martinez is training under celebrated coaches and figure skaters Ilia Kulik and John Nicks
. A Russian figure skater who began skating at the age of five, Kulik is the 1998 Olympic Champion, the 1995 European Champion, the 1997–1998 Grand Prix Final champion, and the 1995 World Junior champion. Nicks on the other hand is a figure skating coach and former pair skater. With his sister Jennifer, Nicks was the 1953 World Figure Skating champion. As a coach, his skating pupils have included American figure skaters Peggy Fleming
, pairs team Tai Babilonia
and Randy Gardner
, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Sasha Cohen
Says Martinez about his coaches now, “They are the best coaches I’ve had so far, and I’ve had many. For instance, Ilia is very thorough in showing me all the techniques. He even talks and spins in mid-air while executing a triple so he can show me where my hands should be and how my body should be positioned. He is an amazing skater.”