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Fil. Olympic Skater in Debt

Michael Christian  Martinez, the Philippines’ lone representative to 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, will try to win the country’s first Olympic gold medal even without financial support from the government.

According to his mother Maria Teresa, she has repeatedly requested support from Malacanang to back up his son -- but failed to get a response.

"I don't even think anyone at the President's office knows there's a Filipino skating in the Olympics," she said in Simone Oredain’s report to the Catholic News Service.

Mrs. Martinez said they were able to go through three pre-Olympic tournaments with the help of Martinez’s lone sponsor and the Philippine Skating Union.

The skater’s mother revealed that she even had their house mortgaged to finance Martinez’s travel costs for international tournaments.

"It's a crazy investment," she said.

Martinez, for his part, said he is just relying on his Catholic faith to at least place in the final 24 in Sochi, Russia. That way, he could qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics, where he could compete with better preparation.

"Before there was no one to hold on to, only my mom but no one else," said Martinez. "So I'm holding on to God. Every competition I ask him for help and confidence and it really works!"