Lil’ Love for the Underdogs: Michael Christian Martinez

I had to wake up early to watch the men’s SP from start to finish and the annoying thing was, I usually don’t watch the first two flights at Worlds or the Olympics. I was only half-awake to see what Plushenko had to offer. Although I was tempted to go back to bed, I decided to sit through the first two flights since my computer was already on as was my kettle for tea. For me, the only two highlights of the first few groups was the drama of Plushenko’s withdrawal… and this skater: Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines. Not a traditional figure skating nation and so I did not expect to see this.

(For now, I can only offer a sketchy filmed off the TV video off the youtube due to copyright limitations.)

I have to admit, I was impressed. This guy has potential – his rotations in the air are very fast, he has good lines and extension and his flexibility rivals that of some of the top ladies (his Biellmann is definitely better extended than some ladies in the field). Martinez needs to improve the flow coming out of his jumps and have a quad to be at the top echelons and I would honestly love to see this guy succeed. For some reason, the name Frank Carroll is floating in my head right now.

This guy also seems to have tons of fans. Many lower ranked skaters don’t have videos of their skates on youtube but there were tons of videos of his Olympic skate. Keep on supporting your skaters, Filipino fans!

What did you think of Michael Christian Martinez? Do you think he has what it takes to be at the top? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Lil Love for the Underdogs: Angela Maxwell

This post is a little unusual because the featured skater isn’t competing anymore. Angela’s also had some success in the junior ranks and in that sense, she isn’t really an underdog either. I guess Angela is sort of an underdog in that she would have had a tough time competing in the senior ranks but in any case, I wanted to do this post about her.

Angela Maxwell

I first stumbled onto Angela when youtube suggested this video to me:

I was new to skating and so I didn’t really know who Elene Gedevanishvili was (she was operating the camera). What I did notice was that Angela was clearly better than the guy and she had a flair and charisma to her skating that made it difficult to tear your eyes away. She had star quality in spades, like Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.

I have to admit, I quite like the fact that she was using anime soundtracks. Some of the music on these things are super compelling even if their plots are not. I’m kind of hoping someone will use the Ghost in the Shell soundtracks one day.

Inuyasha LP (2008-2009)


Vampire Knight (2009-2010)


She may not have all the technical elements down but she has great personality on the ice. I wish I could’ve seen her improve and grow some more.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Lil’ love for the underdogs: Chafik Besseghier

Chafik Besseghier really impressed me with his SP at TEB this year. This kid is talented: he moves across the ice smoothly and he covers it quickly with ease. His spins are fast and his footwork is well-timed to the music. However, I would like to see him use his knees a little more in his landings. He does have personality and I hope that the French Federation will give him a chance to shine.

A very interesting exhibition number with very unique break dancing elements incorporated into it.


~The Rinkside Cafe

Lil’ love for the underdogs: Myriane Samson

Myriane Samson is the current Canadian National silver medalist. She’s a bit of a headcase in international competitions and hasn’t landed on the podium for any major international competition but this performance at Canadian Nationals this year impressed me. Loved that turn into a triple flip.

Choreographed by Marie-France Dubreuil and Julie Marcotte.

~The Rinkside Cafe