I began to skate, and every single part of my body completely synchronized with the music. A sense of peace took over. As I moved around the rink in fluid motions, I heard the audience gasp and applaud. Something inside told me I did an incredible job.
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay — I started roller skating at two years old after finding my older sister’s skates. Despite my tiny feet not properly fitting into them, I loved wearing the skates whenever I could. I stumbled into walls and slid all over the house, imitating the choreographies she did.
Now, at 10 years old, I am a world skating champion in the Mini Men’s Free Skating Category of the 2023 Artistic World International Skate Series. I faced competitors from 14 different countries and emerged victorious.
By the time I turned three, my parents bought me my own roller skates. When I saw them, I let out a loud scream. Full of excitement, I began jumping all over the living room. Another year passed, and I started to practice using professional skates at the Mar Del Plata Club near my home.
Skating made me feel like I could do anything. I went so fast that I felt suspended in the air. I focused solely on the rink and everything around it faded away. When I began competing, I learned to adapt to new rinks and train as much as I could.
When I first heard about the world championship competition in Paraguay, I felt incredibly anxious. I knew the stadium would be huge, filled with people. I poured through footage of previous events and my legs began shaking. Days before the competition, I decided to reconnect with my love for the sport. I needed to remember what made me so passionate about it in the first place.
Slowly, my nerves went away as I remembered how free I felt skating at my local rink at barely four years old. My parents raised enough money for my ticket to Paraguay and my accommodations, but they could not afford to go. They took me to the airport to drop me off, and we cried and hugged before they watched me walk away. I felt a mix of excitement and nervousness, traveling alone to another country at just 10 years old.
When I decided to compete at the world level, I just wanted the chance to measure myself against other skaters, eager to see how far I would go. On the day of the competition, I wore a leotard bearing the colors of my country: Argentina. My heart beat out of my chest as they began announcing the categories.
After a short interval, the music came on in the stadium and they announced my name. I began to skate, and every single part of my body completely synchronized with the music. A sense of peace took over. As I moved around the rink in fluid motions, I heard the audience gasp and applaud. Something inside told me I did an incredible job.
When I finished the choreography, I felt a rush of electricity coursing through my veins. Standing in the middle of the crowd, I felt like a superhero, and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt so proud of myself. My mom told me my family watched the entire show and screamed my name at the television while they jumped up and down.
Once they cut the music in the stadium, a powerful silence settled over the crowd. Then suddenly, like thunder, a wave of applause erupted. People stood up and shouted my name. Even my teacher, who traveled all the way to see me and was sitting in the front row, stretched her arms towards me. When I heard my score, I felt overwhelming joy.
My coach Celeste Garay hugged me, and they gave me a medal. The tears made my glasses fog up, but I didn’t care. When I arrived back home in Caleta, people waited for me in a caravan of vehicles decorated with Argentina’s flag everywhere.
Upon seeing me, they honked and shouted my name with pride. I immediately ran into my parents’ arms. My dream is to one day travel to Italy or Spain, and train amongst the best. Although skating remains a very demanding sport, there is nothing on earth I would rather do.
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