By Brian YalungRising Filipina figure skater Ayasofya Vittoria Aguirre is no stranger to adversity, having proven that last year at the 29th Annual Skate Japan tournament.
Just recently, the eight-year-old tried to duplicate the feat, going up against older skaters at the Milton Keynes International Skating Union (ISU) Figure Ice Skating Tournament.
Aguirre was the youngest and the smallest participant in the field of 20 ice skaters for the Level II Ladies category. She was the lone Filipino and non-UK resident accredited by the National Ice Skating Association (NISA) of United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, Aguirre managed to finish in the middle of the pack. She settled for 11th place, garnering 15.88 technical points. Her output was surprisingly close to eventual first placer Amy Ilsey, a 17-year-old freshman out of Cardiff University who finished with 19.62 points.
Aguirre is set to compete in China this coming June and then in Hong Kong in October. Tasked to keep her in form are University of the Philippines Human Kinetics coach Nathan Futalan and New York-based ballerina teacher Rubylee Valente-Gomez.
There are also plans for the eight-year-old to undergo training at the Ice Skating Academy of Alberta Canada and a possible collaboration with 2018 Bronze Winter Olympian Canadian coach Ravi Walia of Ice Palace FSC.