Nirvana Ortanez on Road to the Olympics

Former Clairemont resident Nirvana Ortanez who attended the Mount Everest Academy is on the path to qualifying for next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

By Daniel J. Smiechowski

If humility is any barometer of athleticism, this twenty-two year old young lady is a shoe in for an Olympic berth. The soft spoken Miss Ortanez is part of a fire and ice story. Being of Philippine descent and living in San Diego she competes as a snow boarder. Ironically, Miss Ortanez takes to the sport like a duck to water. She says, “My family got me started” and trains at Big Bear when time permits.

Making it to the Olympics from San Diego to Russia is no easy task but the athlete stated, “I feel confident.” That may be news to the Russian Brown Bear as the petit young lady will prove a worthy opponent. Serious training begins next month in Utah followed by qualifying heats in Colorado at the end of December and final qualifying in Quebec, Canada. Approximately eighty to one hundred young women will seek about forty open slots for a chance to represent the United States in the Olympics. Personally, I have always believed that athleticism is God’s gift to mankind.

Miss Ortanez began the sport of snowboarding at the age of fourteen and has now put about eight years behind her as a snowboarder. There are three primary competitions in this Winter Olympic sport being slopes, jumps and rails. Imagine a skate boarder going down a railing. It is the same principle with a snowboard.

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The Clairemont Town Council is a proud sponsor of Nirvana Ortanez having offered her a

grant to continue her quest as a future Olympian. Anyone wishing to make a contribution, small or large to this noble endeavor may access her websitewww.makeachamp.com/nirvanao

Miss Ortanez is clearly deserving of public support. She wishes to thank her family, friends and sponsors for putting her on the road to the Olympics.

Daniel J. Smiechowski  has been a resident of Clairemont since 1967 and may be reached at: smiechowskid@aol.com

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