Sofia Frank on Figure Skating and Embracing her Roots

Inside Sofia Frank’s World of Fashion, Femininity, and Figure Skating

JIL SANDER tank top, VICTORIA BECKHAM skirt from UNIVERS GREENBELT 3, LOEWE bag strap worn as a necklace and bracelet. Photographed by Mark Nicdao for the July 2024 Issue of Vogue Philippines.

In a tropical country where ice sports are uncommon, figure skater Sofia Frank hopes to inspire the next generation. 

Sofia Frank is an unabashed girl’s girl. “I hang out with my friends. I love shopping. I’m really into fashion. I love online shopping. Just looking at clothes is a hobby,” she gushes. In fact, she was happy to interrupt her schedule just to fly in for this photo shoot. “I’ve done shoots before but like, for fun, not for something like this… it’s crazy. I’m really excited!” 

On camera, she’s a natural, which comes as no surprise since figure skating is one of the most performative and expressive sports. She found her way into it when her parents took her to a skating rink at the age of three “to cool off from the California heat,” but one look and she discovered her calling: “As soon as I saw these girls with sparkly dresses and stepped on the ice, I fell in love with it immediately. And yeah, I’ve been at it since.” 

From the sweltering heat of California to the icy rinks where she found her passion, Sofia Frank’s journey in figure skating began when she was just three years old. “My parents took me to the ice rink to cool off from the heat,” she recalls. It was there, surrounded by girls in sparkly dresses gliding effortlessly on the ice, that she fell in love with the sport. Now, as a prominent figure skater representing the Philippines, her unwavering drive for excellence and cultural pride helps her make a mark in the athletic scene. But off the ice, the figure skater enjoys a well-rounded life surrounded by family and friends.

Frank’s connection to figure skating is deeply intertwined with her sense of femininity. In a sport often perceived as embodying grace and elegance, there’s a stereotype that femininity equates to weakness. For the young figure skater, however, femininity is about confidence and self-assurance. When asked about her definition of beauty, her answer reflects her core philosophy. “I think it’s really all about confidence,” she says thoughtfully. “There are different ways to define beauty, but I think the way that I would describe it is confidence. Confidence is key.”

Figure skater Sofia Frank wears a JIL SANDER tank top, JOEY SAMSON dress. Photographed by Mark Nicdao for the July 2024 Issue of Vogue Philippines.

Her motivation stems from a relentless pursuit of perfection. “I would say that I’m a perfectionist,” Frank confides. “There’s always something new to learn and to keep getting better at in figure skating.” This drive has propelled her to continuously strive for improvement, pushing her limits and reaching new heights in her career. Every day on the ice is an opportunity to refine her skills and achieve greater mastery. Her next goal: beefing up her technical elements score to qualify for the World Championships, something she hopes to accomplish this year.

Her connection to her Filipino roots has remained strong, despite growing up in the United States. “Growing up in the States, it was kind of a little bit whitewashed, but I still had my mom and my lola with me every day,” the athlete shares. Filipino food, family gatherings, and cultural traditions have kept her heritage alive. Her family has been a pillar of support throughout her career, despite the financial challenges associated with figure skating. “It’s a very expensive sport, but they’ve always pushed through and worked their butts off to help me pursue my dream,” she says. 

Representing the Philippines as a Filipino-American has added another layer of fulfillment to her skating career. “It’s been amazing so far,” she reflects. “I’ve had so many amazing, life-changing opportunities that I’m so thankful for.” Frank’s pride in her heritage shines through as she speaks about inspiring young girls and boys in the Philippines to take up figure skating. 

Her advice to them is rooted in a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” For Sofia Frank, belief in oneself is crucial. “If you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything that you want to achieve.”

This month, Vogue Philippines pays tribute to stories of grit, determination, and the pursuit of excellence. Below, meet more of the athletes who continue to shatter the glass ceiling of sports.


Vogue Philippines: July 2024 Issue

By BIANCA CUSTODIO, NANA CARAGAY, PATRICIA VILLORIA Photographs by MARK NICDAO Beauty Editor JOYCE OREÑA Fashion Director PAM QUIÑONES. Stylists: David Milan, Steven Coralde of Qurator Studio. Makeup: Angeline dela Cruz, Bea Mocorro, Janica Cleto, and Japeth Purog of Estée Lauder Philippines, Nadynne Esguerra. Hair: JA Feliciano and Kyle Velasco, Jessica Riva and Noel Muncada of Toni&Guy Philippines, Mong Amado. Art Director: Jann Pascua. Producer: Anz Hizon. Bookings Associate: Bianca Zaragoza. Beauty Writer: Bianca Custodio. Nails: Extraordinail. Photographer’s Assistants: Arsan Sulser Hofileña, Crisaldo Soco, John Phillip Nicdao, Villie James Bautista. Stylist’s Assistants: Geno Karlo, Kyla Uy, Ticia Almazan. Shot on location at Balay Kobo and Vogue Studios.
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