Passionate, energetic, artistic and considerate.
These are the traits that help young Filipina figure skater Sofia Guidote achieve her dreams. And these are the very qualities that make her an example of a modern Disney princess – much like the artistic and adventurous Rapunzel in the 2010 Disney movie Tangled.
“I’m courageous and passionate like Rapunzel because as a figure skater, I endure long hours of training. Also, just like Rapunzel, I go through a lot of obstacles and difficulties,” shares Guidote.
At the age of 14, Guidote already has to go through the challenge of juggling her time between training, school and other activities. But like her Disney peg, who turns a bad situation into an advantageous endeavor, the figure skating prodigy is creative and passionate enough to keep it tough when the going gets rough.
Guidote has achieved a lot in figure skating since she started when she was five years old. She won her first local competition at Skate Manila in 2007, which then led to her clinching top honors in the Juvenile division at the 2009 Asian Regional Junior Figure Skating Challenge.
Her hard work gave fruit to more awards and recognitions, notably a Bronze medal in the Novice A category at the 2013 International Skating Union Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy in Bangkok, as it marked the first time a Filipino skater has ever won a medal in the competition.
Most recently, Guidote placed 4th among 21 figure skaters – the highest for a female competitor from Southeast Asia – at the 2015 ISU Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy.
Being an inspiration to young girls, Guidote was chosen as one of the four talented girls from Southeast Asia who will be featured in Disney Channel’s “Dream Big, Princess” campaign. The three-year campaign celebrates the cherished stories of Disney princesses and highlights the aspirational qualities of each princess and seeks to connect them with today’s young women.
The Filipina skater’s on-air feature has been airing on Disney Channel since June 1. The other series of features showcases 16-year-old YouTube singer/actress Janine Weigel (Playchompoo) from Thailand, 13-year-old water ski champion Aaliyah Hanifah from Malaysia, and 14-year-old Junior MasterChef winner Syifa Hasan (Afaf) from Indonesia.
The girls share their inspirational stories and the princesses who inspired them to believe it’s possible to dream big – and it is Rapunzel for our very own Guidote.
“Disney Channel is the home of our beloved Disney Princess movies and television series, and these timeless stories of adventure, courage and kindness teach girls that true beauty comes from within. We hope Sofia Guidote, just like Rapunzel her favorite Disney Princess, will inspire and empower a new generation of girls to pursue their heartfelt dreams,” says The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia’s Branded Media Content general manager Natasha Malhotra.
Always a Disney fan, Guidote shares she was surprised when she found out she had been chosen as one of the featured modern Disney Princesses.
But like a Disney story, Guidote’s life has not always been peachy.
“Believe it or not, [there were lots of times] that I did want to give up [figure skating] but my family is always there to support me,” she relates.
But Guidote always finds it within her to persevere and dream big. “Now when I think I want to give up I just continue [doing what I want] and then eventually I get it. So if I quit now I won’t be able to do it eventually.”
Always dreaming big, the young ice skater says she makes it a point to challenge herself, test her limits and go out of her comfort zone.
Right now, Guidote is working on perfecting her double axel, which she only started practicing two years ago, “but it's only this year that I’m really working on it.”
When asked for her advice to young girls pursuing their dreams, Guidote says they should “never, ever give up.”
“There is going to be a lot of ups and downs, so they need to prepare to make lots of sacrifices, learn discipline and remember why they started and why they love it and [picture] how it will work out in the end,” she concludes.
Kids in Southeast Asia can also take inspiration from their favorite Disney Princesses through Disney Channel’s ongoing “Create a Dream” contest until June 30. They can log on to dreambigprincess.asia to create a "Dream Meme," a creative expression of their biggest aspirations using Disney Princess-inspired images, fonts and icons.
The most creative and inspirational memes stand to win the complete collection of Disney Princess dolls by Hasbro each week, as well as the Grand Prize – a magical holiday in Germany for a family of four, which includes guided tours and a stay in a fairytale castle.
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