A Champion's Spirit: 14-year-old Santa Fean chasing her Olympic dreams

Posted at: 02/20/2014 6:58 PM
By: Kim Tobin, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A 14-year-old Santa Fe teen is chasing her Olympic dreams. Ayaha Chen is an award winning figure skater. She has big dreams on and off the ice.

"It's a sport full of endless possibilities," Chen said.

Chen realized she had a natural skill and loved the movement on the ice, when she was just four years old. She said she finds confidence, joy and freedom when she skates.

"I like challenges," Chen said. "So I feel that skating is an endless challenge."

Chen started training at her home in Santa Fe for regional competitions. Two years ago she made the big move to Colorado Springs to train, and reach her full potential.

Her biggest dream is to skate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

"I just have to keep looking at the big picture," Chen said. "And knowing if I can get over this, I can probably do anything."

But it's also what Ayaha does off the ice that's a big inspiration. Once a week she volunteers at a Colorado Springs hospital, helping patients who just got out of surgery.

"The hospital is usually not a happy place, so I usually have to put on a smile and make them feel happy," Chen said.

Although reaching the Olympics is one of Ayaha's biggest dreams, another dream is to become a surgeon when she grows up. And she says ice skating will help her reach that goal.

"I feel like all of the things that my coaches have taught me and all of the methods to approach difficult things has applied at lot," Chen said.