–By Elisia Brodeur–

Sixth-grader Nichanya Sudprasert (Minnie) recently competed and medaled in some renowned international skating competitions. At Skate Japan 2018, held at the Saitama Ice Arena in Japan, she won a gold medal for her Solo Program Freestyle 3 performance and a silver medal for her Open Freestyle program.

At Skate Asia 2018, which was held at The Rink Ice Arena RAMA 9 in Bangkok, she won more gold and silver medals, this time for her Artistic Freestyle 4 and Open Freestyle programs, respectively.

Minnie has been skating since she was 8 years old and is a member of both the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) and the International Skating Union (ISU). Her most recent competition was Skate Bangkok 2018. Every ISI member needs to take part in this competition to collect points to compete in championships in Asia. Minnie won yet more medals at this event: a silver for Freestyle 4 and two bronze, one each for Footwork Freestyle 4 and Artistic Freestyle 4.

Minnie says that what she likes most about skating is the feeling of achievement when she accomplishes something, that sense of “I did it!” That’s what pushes her to learn more and get better. Minnie also enjoys the cool temperatures in the ice rink and says that the cold breeze in her hair feels good—especially when it’s really hot in Bangkok.

This year Minnie plans to move up to the next level: Freestyle 5. Her teacher, K. Tee, is “very strict!” Minnie’s observation is that if “you do something right the first time, he’s very impressed. If you learn something but don’t show improvement over time, he gets upset. He doesn’t expect me to improve every time I go to learn with him, but at least a little bit.”

Right now Minnie is working on her double-toe loop and double loop, as well as trying to perfect her double salchow. She’s also working on her spins, specifically the camel spin (where the skater’s leg is at a 90-degree angle—”the one that looks like a T”) and the I-spin (essentially a standing split with the extended leg in front). Minnie thinks that this spin “is hard and requires a lot of stretching to get the leg straight.” Clearly, she likes to challenge herself. But Minnie “likes to work toward small goals” so she can achieve them. She doesn’t want to make a huge goal because she feels that puts too much pressure on herself.

When not skating, Minnie is involved in several activities at school; she’s a member of the Middle School Council and a delegate in the MUN. She’s also playing volleyball this season. She likes to “stay active and can’t stand sitting still.”

This year Minnie plans to compete in Skate Asia, which will be held in Bangkok again. And next year her goal is to take part in the new National Youth Games for figure skaters in Thailand.

We wish you the best of luck, Minnie!