Eleven-year-old Wini Kibre is headed for an international competition to prove challenges are what makes life worth living.
“You can go as far as you want, but you should push yourself farther to go outside your limits,” the sixth-grader said.
This philosophy, called Challenge by Choice, is what Kibre lives by. She likens the idea to going to a Japanese restaurant, but being afraid to try new dishes.
“You could be safe and get the chicken teriyaki, but why not try the sushi?” she said.
Kibre learned this viewpoint as a Redwood City Girl Scout and applied it to her training as an Ice Theater athlete. Next year, Kibre and her team will travel to France to compete in an Ice Theater competition.
“It will be my first taste of competition,” Kibre said.
The sixth-grader wasn’t always ready for such high-pressure contests.
“The first week she was 5 years old and holding onto the wall,” recalls Wini’s mother, Susan Kibre. “I thought, well, ice skating doesn’t seem to be working for her.”
Wini Kibre remembers the frustration she felt trying to learn a three turn in ice-skating.
“I would fall down all the time and I would cry,” she said. “But now I would fall and just burst into laughter.”
Ice Theater, Wini explains, is a newer art form of ice-skating, much different than regular skating or synchronized ice-skating.
“You express it with lots of energy and emotion. It’s the artistic side of ice-skating,” she said. “Unlike synchronized skating that’s pretty neat, my group is just organized chaos.”
Because Wini wasn’t a natural ice skater, she said she has had many challenges and worked hard to gain style on the ice.
“The hardest challenge yet is learning my axel,” she said.
These kinds of challenges, said Susan Kibre, are what give her daughter a special spark that guarantees eventual success.
“She just doesn’t give up on things,” Susan Kibre said. “When I was a kid, if I wasn’t good at it, I wouldn’t want to do it.”
While not on the rink, Wini is a cadet with the Redwood City Girls Scouts. Since kindergarten, she has learned how to better her local community alongside her troop.
“I’m most proud of our Bronze Award,” she said.
A Bronze Award is the highest honor a junior troop can achieve. The troop must work together to develop a project that will benefit their community.
“We couldn’t agree on who to help,” Wini said.
The troop decided they would assist animals by donating goods to local animal shelters.
“It’s sad that people leave their animals out there,” she said. "But then the shelter finds them and helps them, so that’s nice.”
The troop went throughout Redwood City and collected donations by writing letters to neighbors and leaving bags for contributions on their doorstep.
Though Wini said she has a love for animals, she doesn’t want to become a veterinarian.
“Because you can’t really tell a cat this injection is going to save your life. They just don’t understand,” she joked.
Wini hopes to become a scientist or a professional ice skater, though she is open to whatever may come.
As Wini continues to grow and learn, she will always look to overcome the next obstacle that life brings her.
“You don’t get bored if you have a challenge,” she said, “I just look at something as a challenge and it immediately becomes fun.”