Filipino figure skater seeks help to fund 2022 Winter Olympics bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) – The family of 15-year-old figure skater Sofia Frank has organized a virtual fundraiser to support her bid to become the first Filipina to compete in the Winter Olympics.

Frank is one of the three Filipinos named by the Philippine Skating Union (PHSU) to vie for a berth in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

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Created last August 12, the online fundraiser aims to support Frank's financial requirements in training and travel for international competitions.

"As with many Olympic hopefuls, Sofia's success will rely on the financial and emotional support of a broad constituency of family, friends, teammates and the skating community," a statement on the virtual fundraiser page reads.

Frank - born to a Filipino mother and American father - hopes to establish a training and financial support network in the Philippines if she will be successful in her bid to qualify for the Winter Games.

The Los Angeles-born Filipino figure skater is currently training in Colorado Springs, the location of the United States Olympic Training Center, under the tutelage of renowned coach Tammy Gambill.

PHSU president Nikki Cheng said the family of Frank, who was introduced as the newest member of the national team last August 11, approached them to include her in their roster.

"Sofia is great both technically and artistically. By technical, we mean the footwork, jumps and the spins," Cheng told CNN Philippines.

Cheng added that Frank is getting close to attain the triple axel jump, a rare feat accomplished among female figure skaters.

"There's more to develop and improve as she matures in skating, but definitely we see great potential, even up to the following Olympic cycles," she said.

Frank and national champion Edrian Celestino are slated to compete in the 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy, an Olympic qualifier event, on Sept. 22-25 in Oberstdorf, Germany.