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Korean skaters dazzle Philippine counterparts

Kim Haejin

MANILA, Philippines — Kim Haejin and three other Korean figure skating national team members dazzled the crowd in the gala exhibition of the Dream Program with Korean Figure Skaters at the Mall of Asia Skating Rink in Pasay yesterday.

Kim joined choreographer Shin Yeaji, Kim Sena and Choi Whi in the opener before performing their individual routines to the delight of the crowd in the event held to promote the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games slated Feb. 9-25 and March 9-18, respectively, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“Through this event, I hope many people will be interested in the Olympic Games,” said Kim, also Korea’s representative to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The foursome then conducted a one-hour workshop with 28 young Filipino skaters ranging from seven to 19 years old, some are members of the Philippine Skating Union.

The 20-year-old Kim, who suffered a fall after her first jump in her routine but recovered gracefully to the cheers of the crowd, shared an advice to the young skaters whom she praised for their enthusiasm to learn.

“It can’t always be perfect on the ice rink stage because there will be accidents. But if you will be patient and I think they will be, you will achieve your goals. Practice makes perfect,” she said.

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“There are a lot of good skaters there. They enjoyed skating very much. I know that (Michael Martinez) is a Filipino skater. So I think they could also compete on a high level,” she added.

National team member Sofia Guidote treasured the opportunity to learn from former Winter Olympian Kim and the other prominent Korean figure skaters as she is set to defend her junior national crown in the Philippine National Figure Skating Championship on Nov. 26-27.

“It was such an honor. She taught me how to move and extend more. I really had a lot of fun. It was a good experience and I learned a lot of new things. This will help me in my performance on how I do my steps,” said the 15-year-old Guidote.

Korean singer and actor Thunder, who served as host of the event, also encouraged the Filipinos to visit Korea and watch the Games.

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