Unique showcase on ice

THE GAME OF MY LIFE - Bill Velasco - The Philippine Star
Unique showcase on ice
Michael Martinez
Courtesy of Michael Martinez

In an extremely rare occurrence, all of the country’s world-class figure skaters will unite and take to the ice to support their sport. Two-time Winter Olympian Michael Martinez leads the cast of Philippine national athletes headlining the Christmas event entitled “Carols on Ice” at the SM Skating Mall of Asia tomorrow at 7:30 pm. Now in its second year, the event, a partnership between the Philippine Skating Union (PHSU) and SM Skating, brings the country’s greatest ice skaters home from all over the globe where they train full-time to represent the Philippines in international competitions.

This year’s show carries the theme “Music through the Years.” The skaters will perform their best competition routines with added entertaining flair to the tune of hit songs from the 1950’s to contemporary music. Among the headliners are internationally-renowned Isabella Gamez and Alexander Korovin, the first-ever pairs team from Southeast Asia to compete in the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, which were held in Saitama, Japan earlier this year. Skating since she was a six-year-old in Florida, Gamez started representing the country in 2019. Korovin, originally competing for Spain and Russia, joined her two years later. The duo are aiming for a ticket to the 2026 Winter Olmypics in Milan, Italy.

Another star of the show is the spectacularly gifted teen Sofia Frank, a 2022 World Junior Figure Skating Championships veteran and 2022 Philippine national champion. Frank, a high-school student from Los Angeles, also competed in last year’s Four Continents Championships, which she qualified for by placing 24th in the previous CS Nebelhorn Trophy. Unfortunately, she just missed out on qualifying for the 2022 Winter Olympics. She is the country’s national record holder in the free skate category, setting the new mark in the Finlandia Trophy 13 months ago.

Also performing is 2022 national medalist Charmaine Skye Chua, who is now also a contract artist for GMA. Chua, who has been skating competitively for 12 years, portrays a figure skater on one of the network’s drama series. She has participated in the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy the last two years, and in various competitions throughout Asia and Europe. Carols on Ice is the culminating show after the Philippine Figure Skating Nationals.

This public showcase is a chance for children to see the best talent the country has in a sport where Filipinos can use their natural grace and style to conquer the world. Proceeds will go to further development of the sport in the country, and hopefully, inspire the next generation of champion figure skaters. Once a child can see the beauty of a sport, who knows where it will lead them?

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