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This Ice Skater Will Teach You to Never Give Up on Your Passion

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a Disney ice princess?
IMAGE Chloe Ramirez ART Clare Magno

There she is. She's about to step onto the ice. The atmosphere cold, the crowd excited, and Sofia Guidote, just like every other 14-year-old figure skater during a tough competition, is nervous. She blocks out everything and everyone to help her concentrate, and she says a little prayer. Striking her beginning pose, she feels good, determined even. And as the music plays and her hands and feet dance gracefully, she smiles.

I just enjoy the competition and the performance. I get stuck in the moment, and I tell myself, "It's my moment to shine. Make the most of it! After that, I feel very satisfied because I know that all my hard work was worth it."

Unlike any other young figure skater, Sofia is the epitome of happiness, determination, charm, and talent. At such a young age, she has accomplished so much and is enjoying every minute of it in the process. Back in 2014, she was the Advanced Novice Ladies Champion in the Philippine National Figure Skating Championships. And last 2013, she bagged a bronze medal, making history since she was the first ever Filipino figure skater to win a medal in that competition. She owns dozens of medals from many other competitions, both local and international and yet, she still remains humble and kind. 

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Recently, Disney chose her to be an ambassador for their Dream Big, Princess campaign, which is a three-year global movement encouraging everyone to dream and follow their hearts. Sofia likens herself to Rapunzel, having to endure hours upon hours of training and trudging through mountains of obstacles while on her way to her dream: the Winter Olympics.

We were able to catch her after an ice show recently, and she was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions.

How did you get into ice skating?

I went on a play date with my friend to the rink and I never stopped talking about it, and I'm a very talkative girl. So my mom finally asked me if I wanted to learn ice skating, and I haven't stopped since! 

What made you want to aim for the Olympics?

Ever since I was a young girl (Read: Sofia started skating at age 5), there was this banner in the rink and I wrote on it. I jotted down, "I want to go to the Winter Olympics." I guess it was just automatic for me, no need to think twice. When I was in first grade, I even missed school to watch the Olympics! And when I saw the talented and passionate skaters perform and compete, I was definitely inspired to be there as well.

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What's your favorite thing about figure skating?

I would say performing. I love performing. And the costumes, of course!

Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up?

There were a lot of times when I felt like giving up and quitting. What I'd do is I'd talk to my parents about it, and they'd tell me to sleep on it and decide the next day if I still feel the same way. One day, when I was on the verge of quitting, my parents told me not to skate for a day. I felt so bad! I instantly missed the ice and the rink and the wind brushing through my face. I had to go back.

Usually, I'd get frustrated whenever I can't seem to land a jump perfectly. This is what happened recently, and my mom and dad would tell me that I wouldn't get this element right if I quit. I'd tell myself that if I quit now, I'll never get this move right, and I don't want that to be the reason I don't reach my dreams.

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How important is your parents' support when going after your dreams?

It's super important. Without them, I can't survive! They are my go-to people whenever I feel sad and frustrated or happy and talkative. They really support me and inspire me to dream big. To be honest, they keep me sane and happy in skating because figure skating is a very demanding sport. I'm very thankful that they have always been by my side every step of the way.

What song do you listen to as a pick-me-upper when you feel sad?

I like the "Fight Song" right now by Rachel Platten. It's so inspirational!

Who's your inspiration?

Of course, Michael Martinez! And the Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva.

What advice would you give Olympic dreamers?

Stay strong, because the world can be competitive. Dreams take time, patience, and a lot of discipline and sacrifices. So stay strong, work hard, and with that, you can do anything your heart desires. 

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Sofia is passionate and courageous, might we say the least, and she will definitely serve as an inspiration to every dreamer and believer out there. Dream big, Candy Girls!

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Chloe Ramirez
Candymag.com Correspondent
I am a Candy Girl because I am confident in my own skin, and I am not afraid to be myself.  I am passionate and hard-working in whatever I choose to do. I make sure to look at the brighter side of things.
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A Simple Learner Who's a Great Pretender

Maybe I'm just a learner, not a weirdo. A learner that knows how to listen and pretend. A simple learner who's a great pretender. Pretending to be slightly dumb enough not to be judged and criticized by those who do not appreciate my existence. We surround ourselves with people who's levels are either beyond or below our intellectual behavior, because as for reality, people may use you either for their success or your downfall. Since then, people tend to judge someone who has an intellect with things they shouldn't be. Making them a criticizer, and most of all, calling them weird.

Honestly, I'm one of this "weirdo" who actually loves to learn things, and for the record, I'm bullied and stressed out for making myself not to learn more and go with the flow to dumbness I had. Have you ever feel being assigned to some task where you know every process to make it easier and faster to finish but turns out to hesitate to voice out because some of your mates put themselves in charge. There are times where I know what to do, what to say, or how to react, but kept myself silent and pretend not to know anything that may help us. Maybe it's a good thing to just go with their ideas and learn from their perspectives, but sometimes you can't control it and says something, and once again called to be a weirdo and let you finish the work by yourself.

It's annoying that you only know one process yet they gave you the whole work and let you finish it by yourself because they insist that "MAGALING KA DIBA?". It's not your fault being an intellectual person, knowing such things that may help you to pursue your dreams, and have the basic knowledge about something. You don't need to know everything, just the basics. And as for those people who do not appreciate your existence, let them be and continue what's the best for you. In some cases, you'll be annoyed by this but most of the time you'll be thankful for it. Not for now but maybe later. Just be yourself either a weirdo, a great pretender, or a simple learner, and always remember to lower your voice and behavior because no one loves that.

Just be a great pretender not to hear any runts and be a good learner that appreciates everything. It's out of nowhere thoughts of mine, but simply I leave you this my favorite life quotation; "Don't introduce yourself, Let your success introduce you"

Jayson Miranda 2 days ago
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