'When you put your mind to it, you can do it' - young ice skating champ

2018-02-01 07:31
Nicolas van Der Vijver, 11-year-old figure skating champion. (Supplied)

Nicolas van Der Vijver, 11-year-old figure skating champion. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - Self-belief…. That's all it is.

For a young Capetonian boy, believing in yourself is most important.

Nicolas van der Vijver, a young figure-skater, has just returned from competing internationally. The 12-year-old took part in two competitions in Italy.

"It was okay. It wasn't as good as I thought, but it was a fine experience and I enjoyed myself," he said.

Van der Vijver was adopted when he was four months old.

He fell in love with skating at the GrandWest Casino in Cape Town when he was around 6 years old.

For him, falling was common when he first used the "baby rink".

He later joined the Black Panther figure skating club.

Aiming high

In 2017, he achieved first place in the pre-novice category of both the Western Province and national figure-skating championships.

Despite the "not so good" international performance, Van der Vijver is still aiming for greater heights in 2018.  

He will be home-schooled this year to shift his focus to ice skating.

Van der Vijver is currently at Basic Novice level, which is the second lowest level, but he is now aiming to reach Advance Novice level.

"This year I want to advance to the next international section so that I can get a really high score," he says.

In his spare time, Van der Vijver enjoys playing cricket with his father. He also enjoys playing Fifa on his PlayStation.  

He stays motivated by knowing there is always someone by his side.

"My parents are always there when I need them. Also, I know when I put my mind to it, I can do it," he says.

Freedom on the ice

If there is one thing he enjoys about being out on the ice, it's the freedom.

"There is freedom on the ice and the relaxation. I am not in an enclosed space anymore, I can let my emotions go on the ice."

His dream is to become a biokineticist or a sports commentator.

"I want to help people get stronger, fitter and achieve what they want."

Proud mother, Linda van der Vijver, says her son is very committed to his sport and his school work.

"Home-schooling will allow him to spend more hours on the rink. He will spend his mornings there and his afternoons doing his school work."

Linda adds: "We are extremely proud and it is quite a commitment from our side too.

"We try to support him because it is what he loves doing."

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