Congratulations Michael for Already Exceeding Expectations!

Michael did his best to win a medal for our country. And we, Filipinos, perhaps including other nationalities as well, appreciate and admire him for how far he has reached despite the odds. He is young, this is definitely just the start of his figure-skating career. Considerning his potential and young age, he should be managed well and reminded to not let things get to his head yet, after all he still has at least 2 more Olympic season to prove his worth. Evey sport is partly defined by personal attitude as well. So confidence and optomism is good blended with a humble and sportmanship spirit. Something that boxer, Manny Pacquiao has shown to the world and admired for.

You are already a winner in our eyes for reaching the Olympics, and the unbelievable Winter Olympic at that. You opened the doors for the Philippines to be considered in this sport. You gave hope and inspiration for those who would have never thought that we could possibly be among the world’s best. Yes, you will come home a winner and a hero to most. Thank you for proudly waving the Philippine flag for us, making us proud to be part of this year’s Winter Olympics. Because of you, our country is now recognized as a formidable contender for the Gold in the beautiful figure-skating sport. Because of you, the Philippine government will now support the local team develop future great talents like you. Don’t be swayed by political agendas or showbiz careers that you will encounter or offered to you on a silver platter like all internationally-recognized personalities before you. Have more respect for yourself and focus on what you do best.

Now he is an interesting analysis and commentary from an avid fan of the sport and a Filipino music blogger, Adrian Lontoc, to share his views:

“Interesting to dissect Michael’s Free Skate. He started well with a triple Axel-triple Toe combination that had all but two of the judges punching in +1’s for this element’s Grade of Execution (GoE). On his next jumping pass, he played it safe by doubling out the second jump in his planned triple Lutz-triple toe combination but still got six +1’s from the judges. His next element, a planned triple flip was when the errors crept in. He got an edge call (jump didn’t take off from an inside edge) and only managed to do two mid-air revolutions. This jump was saddled with negative GoE’s stripping off 0.34 points further from the starting 1.80 base value of the double flip. Had he landed a triple flip cleanly, he would’ve banked 5.30 points or more. His first spin was a Flying Change Foot Combination Spin that was deemed a Level 4 by the Technical Specialist. Next was his Step Sequence that catered exclusively to the judges that was a Level 3. A triple loop ended with a hand down and two feet on the ice, enough to consider it a fall (hence a -1 fall deduction in addition to the negative GoE’s). His subsequent solo jumps (past the halfway mark), a second triple Axel, and a second triple Lutz had rough landings and were both given negative GoE’s. His final combination jump was a planned double Axel, half loop and triple Salchow. He didn’t have enough speed going into the Salchow and only managed to do a double with a rough landing. His Flying Sit Spin was marked only a Level 2. His final jump was a double Axel entered from a cantilever spread that had one judge punching in a +2. Next was his Choreographed Sequence before his final element, a Level 4 Change Foot Combination Spin that had him hold the Biellmann position for more than 8 revolutions. This spin earned unanimous positive GoE’s with 6 judges giving him +2’s.

His Program Component Scores ranged from a low of 5.68 for Transitions/Linking Footwork/Movement up to a high of 5.93 for Skating Skills. Individual marks from Judges ranged from 5.00 up to 6.75. His Free Skating PCS is lower than his Short Program PCS (6.04-6.46).

If I’m not mistaken, Michael will be sent to the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria this March 10-16 which I think is a curious move for him. His main rival Christopher Caluza, the Philippine Champion will be the one sent to the senior World Championships in Saitama on March 24-30 where some of the Olympians will also compete. Michael has a great chance to medal at the Junior Worlds since I think that he will be the only Olympian there. But I think that this will be a step backward for him. I do hope that the Philippine Skating Union will get its act together as we enter into a new quadrennial leading into the PyeongChang Winter Games. “

The next question is: Are we/country/government providing enough support for our athletes or do they struggle on their own for the honor of waving our country’s flag in the world arena?


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