Michael Martinez on skating to 'Demon Slayer' song: 'Even if you make mistakes, you have to keep moving forward'

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Michael Martinez x Tanjiro

Filipino Winter Olympian Michael Martinez officially returned to competitive skating early this month in the 2021 Finlandia Trophy.

In an interview with GMA News Online, the 24-year-old figure skater said it felt great to be back on the ice after after taking a three-year hiatus from the sport.

He admitted that he had some jitters at first, but he eventually calmed down in the free skate.

“I was very nervous at my first competition,” he told GMA News Online. “For the short program, you can really see that I was really nervous but it’s really part of the training.”

Martinez, who is currently training in Russia, finished 24th out of 26 skaters at Finlandia, visibly still rusty from his long break. He struggled with his jumps, but he showed glimpses of his signature flexibility on ice.

He skated to “Requiem For A Dream” for his short program and wore an all-black ensemble for his costume. In his free skate, he performed to “Kamado Tanjiro No Uta” from the anime series “Demon Slayer” while clad in a bright water blue kimono-style top.

“I’ve been watching the anime series and when I watched the movie, I felt like this is it. This is the program, this is the music that I really want to perform,” Martinez said about his free skate.

“It really means a lot to me because so many things happened in my life and with this music, it really helps me boost a lot and shows that even if you fall, even if you make mistakes, you have to keep moving forward, you have to keep pushing yourself to do better, stronger, and fight for your dreams,” he added, channeling the strength of will displayed by main character Tanjiro.

The two-time Olympian also said he is now more mature in his performances and a change in mindset helped him do that.

“When I decided to come back on the ice and compete, I decided this time, I want to perform for myself and really show what I would have wanted to show before,” he said.

“Before, I was just showing or doing everything for many people, which is sad. I guess, that’s just me being sad and naive or being young. After that hiatus, it made me realize a lot of things, about decisions and just maturity,” he added.

Martinez said that while his journey back on ice was difficult, having to lose weight and relearning his jumps, he prefers his situation now compared to before.

“Being able to skate and compete again just made me realize a lot of things: I really want this for myself, to show more of what I can do and show how much improvement I can show in future competitions,” he said.

“Honestly this time, I’m more happy about it because I can feel the maturity or how I deliver on ice is different than before. Even though it was a lot easier to do things before, I [would] rather prefer now because it really feels different. The jumps, they were different. I know it was hard, but I feel like it is a lot stronger now.”

Martinez will be back on ice in the 2021 Cup of Austria on November 11 to 14.

—MGP, GMA News

This article Michael Martinez on skating to ‘Demon Slayer’ song: ‘Even if you make mistakes, you have to keep moving forward’ was originally published in GMA News Online.

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