By Hunter Hewitt
July 13, 2012 (San Diego)--Over the last few months, athletes from all over the world have been vigorously preparing with hopes to be in peak physical condition to represent their country in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
For figure skater Christopher Caluza, however, the focus is on training to represent the Philippines in the Winter Olympics in 2014.
Originally born in Chula Vista, Caluza moved to Escondido at a young age. He began rollerblading when he was seven years old, but a simple dilemma led him down a path to the world of figure skating.
On a day when the nearby rollerblading rink was closed, Caluza and his parents had to find an alternative. Although the average child might be upset and discouraged because the rink was closed, Caluza simply asked his parents to find somewhere else to go.
They discovered a nearby ice rink in La Jolla, and the rest is history.
“When I started skating on the ice it wasn’t an easy thing, but I started to get the hang of it and started to like it,” Caluza said. “I would try to imitate tricks that I saw on TV, and I eventually fell in love with the sport.”
Caluza has built up quite an impressive resume despite his young age, competing in several events and even winning the 2012 Philippines National Championship. Most recently, he placed 21st in a field of 48 competitors in the World Championships in March.
Caluza’s parents were born in the Philippines, but moved to San Diego before giving birth to him, making him a dual-citizen. The 22-year-old figure skater hopes to represent the Philippines in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“My main goal right now is to represent the Philippines in the 2014 Winter Olympics,” Caluza said. “That’s what I’m working towards for the next two years.”
Caluza has been balancing an intense schedule this summer involving school and training. He is currently taking business classes at Palomar College and still manages to train up to three hours a day.
Caluza now often trains at the San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa, coached by Natalia Bobrina. He has scaled back his training a bit this summer, but it is still a huge time commitment. Leading up to the World Championships, he was often training five hours a day.
This type of workload is nothing uncommon to an Olympic hopeful, and Caluza is determined to do everything he can to compete at a high level in two years.
“I want to work hard on adding new jumps and elements to my arsenal,” Caluza said. “The next two years will have a lot of tough training, but hopefully it will all be worth it.”
In the winter of 2014, if the Summer Olympians are training while Caluza is competing, it’s safe to say it was all worth it.